Protesters rally near the White House demanding a permanent ceasefire and end to U.S. funding to Israel on Wednesday, March 7, 2024 in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Biden responds to cease-fire protest during speech: ‘We need to get a lot more care into Gaza’

BY ALEX GANGITANO |

President Biden said the pro-Palestinian protesters who interrupted his speech have a point, adding that more care has to get into Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Biden, while talking about the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday in North Carolina, was interrupted by a protester yelling, “What about the health care in Gaza?”

Biden stopped his address and responded, “Everybody deserves health care.”

A lengthy interruption continued, with protesters yelling, “Hospitals in Gaza are being bombed.”

Several seconds later, the president said to “be patient with them,” referring to the protesters. The protesters were escorted out of the venue as they continued to shout “cease-fire now.”

“They have a point, we need to get a lot more care into Gaza,” the president said.

Biden’s comment was met with applause and cheers from the crowd. He then continued his remarks without another interruption.

The White House has been under pressure from the left to take a tougher stance with Israel over its bombardment of Gaza.

Relations between the Biden administration and Israel’s government have become more tense with this week’s decision by the U.S. to abstain from a vote of the U.N. Security Council calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. The measure passed, leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a high-level delegation meant to travel to Washington this week.

Biden and White House officials have warned that Israel’s plans for a ground invasion into Rafah, the southern city where more than 1 million Palestinians are sheltering, would create a humanitarian disaster.

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