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Biden needs first lady's help with question about Gaza hospitals, then State Department steps in to say what he won't
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden needs first lady's help with question about Gaza hospitals, then State Department steps in to say what he won't

President Joe Biden implicitly criticized Israel from the Oval Office on Monday — with an assist from first lady Jill Biden — only for the State Department to speak definitively about Hamas' use of Gaza hospitals for operational command posts.

After a signing event in the presidential office, NBC News correspondent Kelly O'Donnell asked Biden about the intensifying ground war in Gaza and the focus on hospitals. Israel's critics accuse the IDF of striking hospitals, but Israel says Hamas uses them for military purposes, which top U.S. officials have confirmed.

"Have you urged Israel to take any specific action on the hospitals in Gaza?" O'Donnell asked Biden.

Biden, however, did not immediately answer the question. Instead, he appeared confused and looked around the room until Jill reminded him of O'Donnell's question.

"The hospital in Gaza, Kelly was asking," the first lady told the president, prompting O'Donnell to restate her inquiry.

"The hospitals in Gaza — have you expressed any specific concerns to Israel on that, sir?" the reporter asked.

In response, Biden suggested that Israel is attacking the hospitals, stating that he hopes Israel begins to take "less intrusive action" — whatever that means.

"Well, you know I have not been reluctant in expressing my concerns what's going on. And it is my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital," he said.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also addressed the hospital situation on Monday, speaking with truth and clarity.

After noting that hospitals "should be protected" because they are civilian infrastructure, Miller acknowledged the truth about the situation on the ground in Gaza: Hamas hides behind and under civilian infrastructure.

"Hospitals are legitimate civilian infrastructure; they should be protected. At the same time, I would say Hamas continues to use hospitals as locations for its command posts," Miller said.

"We don't want to see civilians caught in the crossfire. We would love to see Hamas vacate the hospitals that it's using as command posts immediately. We would love to see all the people that are calling for Israel to take steps to protect hospitals call for Hamas to vacate the hospitals and stop using civilians as human shields. We would love to see Hamas take some of the fuel reserves it's sitting on and use that to supply hospitals in northern Gaza. We would love to see Hamas have taken the fuel that Israel offered it yesterday – that [Hamas] declined – for use at Al-Shifa Hospital," Miller mic-dropped.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →