Republican figures have condemned Joe Biden for sharing a video of him at a beach in Delaware amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The brief video shows Biden and first lady Jill Biden strolling along Rehoboth Beach as a reporter inquires about the release of Americans held hostage by Hamas. Two American hostages, Judith Tai Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie, 17, were released by the Islamist militant group to Israeli forces on Friday, marking the first time that Hamas has freed captives taken prisoner during a major incursion into Israel on October 7.
Israel declared it was at war with Hamas, designated a terrorist organisation by the U.S., and launched its heaviest-ever airstrikes on Gaza. As of October 23, more than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, and the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the death toll in Gaza had reached at least 4,651 people, with another 14,254 people wounded.
The White House indicated that the president, who recently visited Israel, had been working the entire time he was in Delaware, including speaking to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The RNC Research group, which frequently shares videos online to criticize the president, posted on X, formerly Twitter, calling the RNC Research’s video “disgraceful.” Robertby Starbuck, a former GOP congressional candidate for Tennessee’s 5th district, posted: “Biden had a nice time at the beach this weekend. If there was a soap opera about him, it would have to be named ‘As The World Burns’, right? Seems appropriate.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates responded to the criticism, stating that presidents can execute their duties from anywhere in the world, whether it’s a war zone in Israel or 100 miles from the White House in Delaware. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has demanded that Hamas release all the hostages captured during the October 7 attacks, while being wary of the Islamist group’s assurance that they will free more.