Mar 26, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"They have a point": Biden says of pro-Palestinian protesters

President Biden on March 26 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo: Eros Hoagland/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday responded to pro-Palestinian protesters who disrupted his speech on health care to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The big picture: The president, who has largely stuck with Israel amid its war with Hamas, said earlier this month that Israel's government must take the humanitarian crisis in Gaza seriously and not use aid as leverage.

  • For the first time since the Oct. 7 attack, Biden also said he has a "red line" for the Israeli military operation in Gaza, indicating his patience with the Netanyahu government is thinning.

State of play: Three protesters interrupted his speech on health care in North Carolina, yelling, "What about the health care in Gaza?"

  • "Everybody deserves health care," Biden responded from the stage.
  • The three women could be heard saying that hospitals in Gaza are being bombed and accusing Biden of being "complicit in genocide."
  • "Be patient with them," Biden said as the protesters were escorted out. "They have a point. We need to get a lot more care into Gaza."

Zoom out: Biden announced this month that he ordered the U.S. military to open up a maritime route for humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

  • The plan to establish the temporary port in Gaza has been the most significant U.S. humanitarian initiative since the Israel-Hamas war began.

Go deeper: Biden breaks with Netanyahu but sticks with Israel

Go deeper