Psaki: Biden Working on 'Quiet' Resolution to Hamas Missile Attacks on Israel

White House press secretary Jen Psaki / Getty Images
May 18, 2021

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is working in a "quiet" fashion to end conflict between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, even as thousands of missiles are lobbed at Israel from Gaza.

"Our focus and our strategy here is to work through quiet, intensive diplomacy," Psaki said on a Tuesday trip on Air Force One. "[President Biden has] been doing this long enough to know that the best way to end an international conflict is typically not to debate it in public."

Psaki did not mention what steps have been taken toward a resolution but said the Biden administration would like to see an end to the conflict as soon as possible. She did not dismiss the possibility of investigating Israel for war crimes.

On Monday, Biden announced his support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The announcement prompted former Trump administration officials and Republicans in Congress to push the White House to reaffirm Israel’s right to self-defense and reimpose crackdowns on Iran-backed terror groups.

Israeli Defense Forces are engaging in a limited counterattack to Hamas’s provocations, saying they have targeted military infrastructure belonging to the Iran-backed jihadist organization. Hamas attacks have killed at least 10 people in Israel, including two children.

After stepping out of Air Force One in Michigan, reporters saw Biden speaking with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), a leading voice pushing the Biden administration away from support for Israel. Tlaib is one of the few House members who has accused the Israeli government of "war crimes" and "apartheid."