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Biden says Israel occupying Gaza would be 'big mistake'

However, most Gazans – 57% – have a somewhat or very positive opinion of Hamas.

Published: October 16, 2023 9:20am

Updated: October 16, 2023 11:05am

President Joe Biden said he thinks it would be a "big mistake" for Israel to "occupy Gaza again," as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which is governed by Hamas, the U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization that invaded Israel and killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 29 Americans, in a single day.

When asked Sunday on CBS News' "60 Minutes" whether he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza, Biden replied: "I think it'd be a big mistake. Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas and the extreme elements of Hamas don't represent all the Palestinian people. And I think that, uh, it would be a mistake to, for Israel to occupy Gaza again."

However, most Gazans – 57% – have a somewhat or very positive opinion of Hamas, according to a Palestinian Center for Public Opinion survey published last week by The Washington Institute.

The Palestinian National Authority controlled Gaza from 1994, and in 2005, Israel forced all Israelis out of their homes in the Gaza Strip and all soldiers left the area as part of a peace plan.

Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections and took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Palestinian National Authority still rules over the West Bank and it sends money to Gaza.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said Sunday that Israel has "no interest to occupy Gaza or to stay in Gaza," but that Israel "will have to do whatever is needed to obliterate" Hamas.

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