Biden and Netanyahu
Biden and NetanyahuHaim Zach/GPO

US President Joe Biden on Monday night commented on the conversation he held with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day.

“Today, I spoke again with Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the latest developments in Israel and Gaza,” Biden wrote on social media.

“I continued to affirm that Israel has a right to go after Hamas, a group of terrorists responsible for the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. And I reiterated the need for an immediate ceasefire as part of a deal to free hostages, lasting several weeks, so we can get hostages home and surge aid to civilians in Gaza,” he added.

“I asked the Prime Minister to send a team to Washington to discuss ways to target Hamas without a major ground operation in Rafah,” concluded Biden.

The White House said in a statement following Monday’s call that the two leaders discussed “the latest developments in Israel and Gaza, including the situation in Rafah and efforts to surge humanitarian assistance to Gaza.”

Netanyahu said of the conversation that he spoke with Biden about the latest developments in the war, "including Israel's commitment to achieving all the goals of the war: the elimination of Hamas, the release of all our hostages, and the promise that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel - while providing the necessary humanitarian aid that helps achieve these goals."

The conversation was the 20th between Biden and Netanyahu since the Hamas massacre on October 7, but the first since February 15.

Despite expressing support for Israel’s operation in Gaza when it first began, Biden has become more critical of Israel lately.

In a recent interview on MSNBC, Biden said that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be a red line but also said in the same breath that crossing it would not result in punitive measures against Israel.

“It is a red line, but I am never going to leave Israel,” Biden said. “The defense of Israel is still critical, so there’s no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons.”

The White House later attempted to walk back Biden’s comments. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters, “The President didn't make any declarations or pronouncements or announcements. The red line came up in a question he was responding to that question. I think he gave a full answer to it.”