Biden Couldn’t Hear Question on Israel Delaying Ground Invasion, Said ‘Yes’ by Mistake, White House Says

Biden Couldn’t Hear Question on Israel Delaying Ground Invasion, Said ‘Yes’ by Mistake, White House Says
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jonathan Ernst

President Biden allegedly answered a question wrong because he couldn't hear it correctly.

Biden was asked by a reporter during a news conference on October 20 if Israel should "delay the ground invasion until you can get more hostages out?" to which Biden replied, "Yes." The White House later reversed the statement, stating that Biden reportedly could not hear the question, per The Hill.

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The reporter had asked the question when Biden was boarding Air Force One and the plane's engines were running. Later, White House Communications Director Ben LaBolt stated it was a mistake. “The president was far away. He didn’t hear the full question,” LaBolt said. “The question sounded like ‘Would you like to see more hostages released?’ He wasn’t commenting on anything else.”

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jonathan Ernst
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jonathan Ernst


According to the White House, Biden answered "yes" to the second portion of the question, indicating that he does want more captives released. On October 20, two American hostages, mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan, who were kidnapped in its attack on southern Israel on October 7, were freed from Hamas custody as part of a collaborative effort by the US, Qatar, and Israel. Biden visited Israel this week to meet with high-ranking Israeli government officials and to unveil a $100 million humanitarian relief package for Gaza's people.


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On October 18 in Tel Aviv, Biden warned Israel not to repeat the mistakes committed by the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, per The Hill. “You can’t look at what has happened here … and not scream out for justice,” Biden continued. “Justice must be done. But I caution this: While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it. After 9/11 we were enraged in the United States. While we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.”

Nonetheless, in remarks from the Oval Office, Biden pledged US support for Israel's mission. Since the beginning of the conflict, Biden has pledged U.S. support for Israel in its counteroffensive against Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on the group on October 7 after it launched an unprecedented attack on the nation.

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The White House has requested around $100 billion in emergency help from Congress, which will go to the border, Indo-Pacific partners, Ukraine, and Israel. Israel would receive $14 billion to fund its military operations against Hamas. Israel has launched countless airstrikes on Gaza, including places designated as “safe zones.” More than a million Palestinians, or about half of Gaza's population, have been forced to leave their homes after Israel issued an evacuation order.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 3,785 Palestinians were killed and almost 12,500 were injured. The original surprise attack by Hamas against Israel had killed about 1,400 people in Israel.


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