US President Joe Biden indicated on Saturday, in an interview with MSNBC, that an Israeli operation in Rafah would be a “red line” but also stated that he would never “leave Israel” and that “the defense of Israel is still critical.”

Biden was also firm that Israel “cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead as a consequence of going after [Hamas].”

He stressed that Netanyahu "must, must, must" pay more attention to preventing civilian casualties in Gaza. "He hurts Israel more than he protects her (by killing civilians). This is a mistake," the President stated.

Biden also indicated that he still believes that a deal can be reached to release the hostages in Gaza. "My CIA director is in that region right at this minute still talking about it. I think it's always possible. I never give up on that.”

The President told MSNBC that he would like to come to Israel again to address the Knesset and speak to the Israeli people. Biden would not specify whether there are discussions on such a possibility.

Asked what he meant when he was caught on a hot mic after the State of the Union speech saying that he would hold a "come to Jesus meeting" with Netanyahu, Biden replied that it is a phrase that is used in a serious way and that “Bibi knows what I meant.”