Former US President Barack Obama strongly condemned Palestinian terror group Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel last month, saying there was no "justification" for such "horrific" acts. He also highlighted the "unbearable" situation of Palestinians in Gaza due to what he called "occupation" and said "nobody's hands were clean".
"If there’s any chance of us being able to act constructively, to do something, it will require an admission of complexity," Barack Obama said on a panel hosted by the Pod Save America podcast manned by his former administration staffers. A video clip of the former US President's remarks was posted on X on Saturday.
Urging people to "take in the whole truth" regarding the conflict, Barack Obama said there were people who were "dying right now, who had nothing to do with what Hamas did".
"That what Hamas did was horrific and there’s no justification for it. And what is also true is that the occupation and what is happening to Palestinians is unbearable," he said.
"If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth," Barack Obama stressed, adding, "and then you have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree."
Earlier on Friday, Barack Obama weighed in on the Gaza conflict, saying that Israel's actions that ignored the human cost of the war against Hamas "could ultimately backfire", a US newspaper reported.
"It is impossible to be dispassionate in the face of this carnage. It is hard to feel hopeful. The images of families mourning, of bodies being pulled from rubble, force a moral reckoning on all of us," he said in an address to the Democracy Forum in Chicago.
"All this is taking place against the backdrop of decades of failure to achieve a durable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, one that is based on genuine security for Israel, a recognition of its right to exist, and a peace that is based on an end of the occupation and the creation of a viable state and self-determination for the Palestinian people," he added.
President Joe Biden, who served as Barack Obama's deputy between 2009 and 2017, has strongly backed Israel in its military campaign against Hamas. However, he and his administration have expressed concerns about civilian casualties and stressed the need to have a 'humanitarian pause' in the war to allow aid to reach the affected people in Gaza.
As the Israel-Hamas war completes nearly a month, the UN and world powers are yet to arrive at a consensus on how to deal with the conflict, which began on October 7, when Hamas launched a multi-pronged attack on Israel by air, land and sea, killing more than 1,400 people and taking 240 civilians as hostages.
Israel has responded with a brutal counteroffensive, striking Gaza from the air, imposing a blockade and subsequently, widening its ground operations in the densely populated Palestinian enclave. The deadly strikes have claimed nearly 9,500 lives.
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