Politics, Americas

Trump says Israel must ‘finish the problem’ in Gaza

'You’ve got to finish the problem,' former president says when asked if he is in ‘Israel's camp’

Rabia İclal Turan  | 06.03.2024 - Update : 06.03.2024
Trump says Israel must ‘finish the problem’ in Gaza


Former US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Israel must “finish the problem” in its war against Hamas as he backed the Israeli army's attacks on Gaza.

Asked by a Fox News presenter if he is in “Israel's camp” and whether he is “on board” with the way the Israeli army was “taking the fight to Gaza,” Trump responded: “Yeah. You gotta finish the problem.”

“You've had a horrible invasion that took place,” he said. “It would have never happened if I was president, by the way.”

Asked about Vice President Kamala Harris' call for a cease-fire, the Republican presidential candidate avoided the question.

“I hate seeing what's happening again. It would have never happened — this attack on Israel — and, likewise, Israel's counter attack, which is what it is, would never have happened if I was president.”

Harris criticized Israel for not doing enough to allow aid into Gaza and called for an immediate cease-fire.

“The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid. No excuses,” Harris said, "People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act.”

President Joe Biden, who is running for reelection, is under criticism from progressive Democrats and Muslim and Arab Americans over his “unwavering” support for Israel's war on Gaza, where Israeli attacks have now killed more than 30,000 Palestinians.

A group of Arab and Muslim Americans as well as many progressive Democrats have urged voters to vote "uncommitted" in primaries to protest the Biden administration's Gaza policy, demand a "permanent cease-fire" to Israel's deadly onslaught in the Palestinian enclave, and an end to unconditional US military support for Tel Aviv.

The number of uncommitted votes in last week's primary in Michigan achieved more than 10 times the 10,000-ballot goal set by the protest campaign’s organizers, racking up 13% of the vote.

Biden, who has reaffirmed multiple times Washington’s unwavering support for Israel’s “right to defend itself” after last year’s Oct. 7 attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas, has changed his tone in recent days, gradually ratcheting up pressure on Tel Aviv to take some measures to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians and allow more humanitarian aid into the enclave.

However, the Biden administration is still seeking to send $14 billion worth of additional military aid to Israel, while the US has used its veto power three times to block the UN Security Council from calling for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023, which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed at least 30,631 people and injured 72,043 others with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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