Joe Biden says don't reward Hamas desire for war as Israel mulls ceasefire extension

Joe Biden says don't reward Hamas desire for war as Israel mulls ceasefire extension

Joe Biden has warned against rewarding the desire of Hamas for “terror, violence, killing, and war” amid pressure on the Palestinian militants and Israel to extend their current truce, which is due to end later on Wednesday.

Tweeting on his personal account @JoeBiden rather than the US president’s official account, Mr Biden issued what appeared to be an appeal regarding Israel’s bloody response to Hamas’s murderous rampage on October 7.

“Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek,” he wrote.

“We can’t do that.”

The president’s comment on X came late on Tuesday as another 10 Israeli hostages and two Thai nationals were released in Gaza. A total of 81 hostages held in Gaza including 61 Israelis have now been released during the temporary truce since Friday.

The hostages were part of a group of some 240 civilians taken captive by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups on October 7.

All those freed have been women and children. Both sides said they were open to extending the truce past Wednesday but faced difficult negotiations about Israel’s demand for men and soldiers to be released too.

Another 30 Palestinians were also freed from Israeli jails as part of the agreement, joining 150 others, mostly women and teenage boys, who have been released since Friday.

British-Israeli man Noam Sagi was reunited with his 75-year-old mother Ada after she was freed late on Tuesday, travelling through Egypt to get to Israeli territory.

The 53-year Londoner spoke out about the "psychological terror" of waiting for his elderly mother to be freed, describing her as the daughter of Holocaust survivors and a peace activist whose community in Israel "fought all their lives for good neighbouring relationships".

Other Britons with relatives held in Gaza meanwhile accused the British Government of neglecting their plight.

London couple Pete and Gill Brisley's daughter, Lianne Sharabi, and their teenage grandchildren, her daughters Noiya and Yahel, were murdered by Hamas on October 7.

Their son-in-law Eli and his brother Yossi were taken hostage by Hamas. In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak the couple, both 79, described their treatment by the UK Government as "disgraceful".

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The safety of British people is our utmost priority and we are working around the clock to get them home, which is why we welcome the humanitarian pauses.“The UK is involved in intensive and sensitive diplomatic efforts to secure the release of all hostages, working with Qatar, Israel, the US and others.

“Since the attacks of October 7th, we have worked tirelessly to support the British people affected. Just last week the Foreign Secretary [Lord Cameron] met with the family members of hostages to directly hear their concerns, and he will continue to do so.”