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Biden calls for a ‘pause’ in the Israel-Hamas war

U.S. President Joe Biden joins Israel’s Prime Minister for the start of the Israeli war cabinet meeting, in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Miriam Alster | Afp | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that a “pause” was needed in the Israel-Hamas war.

“I think we need a pause,” Biden said in response to a question at a campaign reception in Minnesota. Asked to clarify what a pause meant, he said, “A pause means give time to get the prisoners out. Give time.”

The comment came after he was interrupted by a protester calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Biden last week said that the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza needed to “increase,” after Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly stated that “humanitarian pauses must be considered” so that food, water, medicine and other essential humanitarian assistance can flow into Gaza.

NBC News reported at the time that according to a U.S. official, the White House supported a “pause” of indeterminate duration to allow for more aid to reach Gaza and to enable those attempting passage out of the enclave to leave safely.

More CNBC coverage of the Israel-Hamas war

Negotiations to free 239 hostages, including children and the elderly, have continued since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack killed about 1,400 people in Israel. After Hamas breached Israel’s border wall, other groups from Gaza seized additional captives.

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