Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

Press Conference: Karine Jean-Pierre Holds a Press Briefing at The White House - May 6, 2024

  • John Kirby
    Person
  • Question
    Person
  • Karine Jean-Pierre
    Person
  • Note
    Person
  • Aide
    Person
Unknown

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:00:00-00:00:02 (3 sec)
Good afternoon, everyone. 1

Question

Positive
00:00:02-00:00:04 (2 sec)
Good afternoon. 2

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:00:04-00:00:17 (13 sec)
So, you just heard from my colleague over at the State Department who has confirmed that Hamas sent a response. I'm going to turn things over very quickly to my colleague, Admiral John Kirby, who will share more updates in the region. 3

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:00:17-00:00:18 (1 sec)
Okay. 4

John Kirby

Positive
00:00:18-00:00:20 (3 sec)
Thanks, Karine. 5

John Kirby

Positive
00:00:20-00:00:23 (2 sec)
Good afternoon, everybody. 6

Question

Positive
00:00:23-00:00:24 (1 sec)
Good afternoon. 7

John Kirby

Unknown
00:00:24-00:00:35 (11 sec)
As Karine noted, there has been a response from Hamas to the hostage deal. We're currently reviewing that response, and we're discussing it with our partners in the region. 8

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:00:35-00:00:52 (17 sec)
Director Burns, as you know, is there, and he's working this in real time on the ground. I won't be able to comment any further on this until we know where things stand. I hope you can understand that. I know everybody is curious about what's in this response, what the Israeli reaction to it is. I'm just not going to get ahead of the process. 9

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:00:52-00:01:04 (11 sec)
We want to get these hostages out. We want to get a ceasefire in place for six weeks. We want to increase humanitarian assistance. And the last thing that I want to do is say anything at this podium that's going to put that process at risk. 10

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:01:04-00:01:14 (10 sec)
Regardless, as we've said before, we still believe that reaching an agreement is the absolute best outcome not only for the hostages but for the Palestinian people. And we're not going to stop working to that outcome. 11

John Kirby

Unknown
00:01:14-00:01:21 (7 sec)
Now, as you know, the President talked with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning. The call lasted about 30 minutes and was constructive. 12

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:01:21-00:01:42 (22 sec)
The President reaffirmed his message on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The two leaders discussed the shared commitment of Israel and the United States to remember the 6 million Jews who were systematically targeted and slaughtered in the Holocaust, one of the darkest chapters in human history, and to forcefully act against antisemitism and all forms of hate-fueled violence. 13

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:01:42-00:01:49 (7 sec)
Now, of course, the two leaders spoke about our efforts to secure the hostage deal, including through these ongoing talks today. 14

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:01:49-00:01:59 (9 sec)
During the call, at the President's urging, Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to ensure that the Kerem Shalom crossing is back open for humanitarian assistance for those in need. 15

John Kirby

Neutral
00:01:59-00:02:07 (8 sec)
And I also want to take a moment to address the latest reports now out of Rafah, which was also a topic of discussion on the -- on the call. 16

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:02:07-00:02:25 (18 sec)
I'll reiterate again that we cannot and we will not speak for IDF operations. But we've made clear our views about operations in Rafah that could potentially put more than a million innocent people at greater risk. During his call with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the President again made this clear. 17

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:02:25-00:02:36 (11 sec)
He also made clear that we continue to believe that the hostage deal is the best way to avoid that sort of an outcome while securing the release of those hostages. And as I said, those conversations continue. 18

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:02:36-00:02:58 (22 sec)
Just one more thing: President Biden hosted His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for lunch at the White House. That probably wrapped up here just recently. They discussed the strong partnership between the United States and Jordan. They also spoke about the situation in Gaza, of course, including efforts to secure the hostage deal and to get more humanitarian assistance into the civilians of Gaza. 19

John Kirby

Unknown
00:02:58-00:03:06 (8 sec)
Now, we're going to have a more detailed readout of that conversation here very, very soon. Just don't have it right now. But you'll be seeing it shortly. 20

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:03:06-00:03:07 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Steve. 21

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:03:07-00:03:12 (5 sec)
As far as you can tell, which proposal did Hamas accept? 22

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:12-00:03:14 (2 sec)
I'm not going to get into that, Steve. 23

Question

Unknown
00:03:14-00:03:17 (3 sec)
And is the issue over how long a ceasefire would last? 24

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:17-00:03:22 (5 sec)
Again, you're asking me for the parameters around the response and the deal itself, and I'm just not going to do that. 25

Question

Very Negative
00:03:22-00:03:31 (9 sec)
Lastly, Israel has called on people in -- in Rafah to evacuate. Is -- does that presage a full-scale assault? What -- what are we seeing? 26

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:31-00:03:40 (9 sec)
As I said in my opening statement, I'm not going to speak for IDF operations or their military intentions and plans. They should be the ones to answer those kinds of questions. 27

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:03:40-00:03:58 (19 sec)
What I can only reiterate is that we've been consistent and the President was consistent again this morning that we don't support ground operations in Rafah that would put the majority or even any of the -- the civilians there at any greater risk. We want to see their safety and security allowed for and factored in. 28

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:03:58-00:04:00 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Seung Min. 29

Question

Positive
00:04:00-00:04:09 (9 sec)
Noting your caveats at the top, are you able to say whether Hamas was agreeing to something that had been discussed over the last several days? 30

John Kirby

Unknown
00:04:09-00:04:26 (18 sec)
Again, without getting into the details of it -- and Director Burns is still talking to partners about this -- there have been ongoing negotiations and talks here for weeks. And the Director traveled recently to see if we can't bring this thing home. 31

John Kirby

Positive
00:04:26-00:04:41 (15 sec)
And, again, without speaking about the details of the response by Hamas, I think it's safe to conclude that that response came as a result or at the end of these continued discussions that Director Burns was part of. 32

Question

Very Positive
00:04:41-00:04:47 (6 sec)
And when do you think you'll have a better sense of what is happening? When will you get a readout from Director Burns? Later today? Early tomorrow? 33

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:04:47-00:04:59 (11 sec)
I don't know. The President has been briefed on -- on the response. He's aware of where the situation and where the process is. What you're asking me is like when are we going to get, like, a final -- you know -- 34

Question

Very Positive
00:04:59-00:05:01 (2 sec)
Like, what is the answer? Yeah. [Laughter] 35

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:05:01-00:05:19 (18 sec)
Yeah -- a final, you know, table slap here. There is a -- there's a process that has -- that -- that has been worked in the past and will be worked this time. You get a response by Hamas. We're going to have to evaluate that. We're going to see what's in it. Certainly, the Israelis get it -- must have a chance to look at this and to evaluate it. 36

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:05:19-00:05:33 (14 sec)
And Director Burns, as -- as we speak -- literally, as you and I are talking -- are having these conversations with partners in the region. You know, it would be great -- I'm sure we'd all like to have an answer as soon as possible. But I just don't want to get ahead of that process. 37

Question

Unknown
00:05:33-00:05:38 (6 sec)
And a quick follow-up on the readout. When do you expect the Kerem -- Kerem Shalom crossing to reopen? Or is it already reopened? 38

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:05:38-00:05:52 (13 sec)
It should be open very, very soon. Prime Minister Netanyahu committed to opening it on the call this morning. So, at 2:30, is it open? I don't know. But he assured the President that it would be reopened. It had been closed for several days. 39

Question

Positive
00:05:52-00:06:03 (11 sec)
Okay. And one more. Cindy McCain, the executive director of the World Food Programme, said over the weekend that Northern Gaza is in a, quote, "full-fledged famine." Is that the assessment of the U.S. government as well? 40

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:06:03-00:06:24 (21 sec)
The U.N. has not declared a famine in Gaza writ large. But I don't want to understate the degree of need here and the -- the dire situation that so many people in Gaza are in, particularly with respect to food and water. So, it is not a great situation, clearly. And that's why, again, we're working so hard to get this deal in place, so we can keep that humanitarian assistance up at a higher level. 41

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:06:24-00:06:25 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Mary. 42

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:06:25-00:06:25 (1 sec)
Thank you. 43

Question

Leans Negative
00:06:25-00:06:32 (7 sec)
I understand you don't want to get into the specifics here. But is it your understanding that this is Hamas's final offer? I mean, is there still room to negotiate here? 44

John Kirby

Unknown
00:06:32-00:06:38 (6 sec)
I think it's going to depend on our evaluation and the Israelis' evaluation of the response and where we go from here. 45

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:06:38-00:06:49 (11 sec)
And as Steve mentioned, the Israelis are already warning people to evacuate Gaza. If they do go through with this operation, is the U.S. willing to consider putting limits or conditions on aid to Israel? 46

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:06:49-00:07:00 (11 sec)
I won't get ahead of where we are right now, Mary, in the process here, and I'm certainly not going to speak to hypothetical operations that haven't happened yet. I think we just have to see what transpires. 47

John Kirby

Neutral
00:07:00-00:07:10 (10 sec)
The President was very direct -- and consistently so -- this morning that we don't want to see major ground operations in Rafah that put these people at greater risk. 48

Question

Negative
00:07:10-00:07:18 (8 sec)
But, you know, a month ago, the administration did make clear that the U.S. would change its approach -- right? -- if Israel didn't take significant steps to address the humanitarian crisis. 49

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:18-00:07:18 (1 sec)
That's right. 50

Question

Unknown
00:07:18-00:07:21 (3 sec)
Does that still hold? Is it possible that the U.S. could change course -- 51

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:21-00:07:22 ( sec)
Of course. 52

Question

Leans Negative
00:07:22-00:07:24 (2 sec)
-- if the humanitarian process isn't improved? 53

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:24-00:07:24 (1 sec)
Of course. We always -- 54

Question

Unknown
00:07:24-00:07:25 (1 sec)
And presumably, a Raf- -- 55

John Kirby

Negative
00:07:25-00:07:30 (5 sec)
No, no. We always have the right to adjust our policies as appropriate, and that has not changed, no. 56

Question

Very Negative
00:07:30-00:07:35 (5 sec)
And presumably, an operation in Rafah would jeopardize steps to address the humanitarian crisis? 57

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:35-00:07:42 (7 sec)
All I can say is we've been very direct and very consistent in our views of concerns about operations in Rafah. 58

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:07:42-00:07:43 (1 sec)
Go ahead, M.J. 59

Question

Leans Negative
00:07:43-00:07:49 (6 sec)
Does the U.S. currently have any sense of whether Israel is inclined or not inclined to accept this deal? [Laughter] 60

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:49-00:07:52 (2 sec)
I -- I won't speak for the Israelis. 61

Question

Very Positive
00:07:52-00:08:04 (13 sec)
The -- when the President and the Prime Minister spoke earlier today, was this specific framework discussed? And did the President encourage, put pressure on the Prime Minister to accept this framework? 62

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:04-00:08:08 (4 sec)
You're talking about the -- what the -- what Hamas says they responded to? 63

Question

Positive
00:08:08-00:08:08 ( sec)
Yes. 64

John Kirby

Negative
00:08:08-00:08:19 (11 sec)
So, just -- and just so you have the tick-tock here, by the -- when they were talking this morning, we did not have news that Hamas had responded. So, that news broke after their call. 65

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:08:19-00:08:25 (6 sec)
That said, as I mentioned in my opening statement, of course they talked about the hostage deal and the importance of getting it secured. 66

Question

Neutral
00:08:25-00:08:28 (3 sec)
So, you're saying when the two leaders spoke, Hamas had not yet accepted -- 67

John Kirby

Negative
00:08:28-00:08:29 (1 sec)
It would be wrong -- 68

Question

Unknown
00:08:29-00:08:30 (1 sec)
-- this framework -- 69

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:08:30-00:08:30 (1 sec)
Yeah. 70

Question

Unknown
00:08:30-00:08:33 (3 sec)
-- so the President would not have specifically asked the Prime Minister to -- 71

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:33-00:08:34 (1 sec)
Correct. 72

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:08:34-00:08:35 (1 sec)
-- potentially accept this framework? 73

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:08:35-00:08:44 (9 sec)
It would be wrong for you to conclude that -- that the call this morning was about having the Israelis accept the Hamas response. The Hamas response hadn't happened yet. 74

Question

Very Positive
00:08:44-00:08:49 (5 sec)
Did he broadly encourage the Prime Minister to get, yes, to some sort of deal? 75

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:08:49-00:09:02 (13 sec)
He, as he has consistently with Prime Minister Netanyahu, urged that we get this deal secured. But it wasn't a -- it wasn't a pressure call. It wasn't about twisting his arm towards a certain set of parameters. 76

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:09:02-00:09:17 (14 sec)
Director Burns is in the region having these conversations with the Israelis, the Qataris, the Egyptians, as -- again, as we speak. And -- and that's the forum for working out the parameters of it. But the President clearly talked to the Prime Minister about the importance of getting a deal done, yeah. 77

Question

Slightly Negative
00:09:17-00:09:22 (5 sec)
And, John, what is the President's position on a limited operation into Rafah? 78

John Kirby

Positive
00:09:22-00:09:38 (16 sec)
I think I -- I don't think I can answer it any differently than I did with Mary. We've been very clear that we don't support a major ground operation in Rafah, operations in general that put at greater risk the more than a million people that are sheltering there. 79

John Kirby

Somewhat Negative
00:09:38-00:09:52 (13 sec)
And the question right now is a hypothetical. I mean, we're aware that they've dropped leaflets. We're aware that they're -- that they're warning people to evacuate. I'll let them speak to their operations and to their intents -- intentions. 80

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:09:52-00:09:57 (5 sec)
Nothing has changed about where we are with respect to operations in Rafah that could put those people at greater risk. 81

Question

Negative
00:09:57-00:10:12 (15 sec)
Right. But you know that they are asking people in the area to evacuate and the possibility of a limited Rafah operation is on the table. So, I'm asking: Does the President believe that Israel can execute a limited operation into Rafah while adequately protecting the lives of civilians there? 82

John Kirby

Neutral
00:10:12-00:10:20 (8 sec)
The President doesn't want to see operations in Rafah that put at greater risk the more than a million people that are seeking refu- -- refuge there. 83

Question

Neutral
00:10:20-00:10:21 (2 sec)
So, he wouldn't support a limited operation into Rafah? 84

John Kirby

Unknown
00:10:21-00:10:22 (1 sec)
I think I've answered the question. 85

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:10:22-00:10:23 ( sec)
Go ahead, Francesca. 86

Question

Unknown
00:10:23-00:10:23 ( sec)
In the back. 87

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:10:23-00:10:24 (1 sec)
Francesca, go ahead. 88

Question

Slightly Positive
00:10:24-00:10:39 (15 sec)
Picking up on the timeline. So, prior to Hamas saying that they accepted this proposal, what, as you understood them to be, were the sticking points for either Hamas or the Israelis in the -- the deal that had been on the table? 89

John Kirby

Unknown
00:10:39-00:10:40 (1 sec)
I'm not going to get into that. 90

Question

Slightly Positive
00:10:40-00:10:43 (3 sec)
Okay. Did it involve Rafah in any way? 91

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:10:43-00:10:52 (9 sec)
I'm not going to talk about the parameters of the proposal that was worked before this Hamas response, and I'm certainly not going to talk about the response right now. 92

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:10:52-00:11:06 (14 sec)
I mean, I do understand the curiosity. And you guys are all asking exactly the right questions -- all very fair. But I really do hope you understand that the last thing I would ever want to do from this podium is say something that could put this very sensitive process at greater risk. 93

John Kirby

Somewhat Negative
00:11:06-00:11:15 (8 sec)
We are at a critical stage right now. We got a response from Hamas. Now Director Burns is working through that, trying to assess it, working with the Israelis. 94

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:11:15-00:11:21 (7 sec)
I mean, my goodness, folks, I don't know that it gets any more sensitive than right now. And the worst thing that we can do is start speculating about what's in it. 95

Question

Unknown
00:11:21-00:11:29 (8 sec)
And one more thing on Rafah. What was your understanding why the Israelis were only evacuating part of Rafah at this time? 96

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:29-00:11:30 (1 sec)
You'd have to talk to the Israelis. 97

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:11:30-00:11:32 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Danny. 98

Question

Very Positive
00:11:32-00:11:43 (11 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Thanks, Admiral. You've previously said several times that the ball is in the court of Hamas at previous stages of negotiations. Would it be fair to say now that the ball is in Israel's court? 99

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:43-00:11:50 (8 sec)
It's going to depend on what the response actually says and the conversations that we have with the Israelis about what -- where we go from here. 100

Question

Slightly Negative
00:11:50-00:12:03 (13 sec)
And just one other thing. If I can ask, I mean, is -- do you have any sense that Israel is currently using this threat or the start of an operation in Rafah as a means of putting pressure on Hamas at this stage of the negotiations? 101

John Kirby

Unknown
00:12:03-00:12:09 (6 sec)
Again, you'd have to talk to the Israelis about their intentions. 102

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:12:09-00:12:09 ( sec)
Franco. 103

Question

Very Positive
00:12:09-00:12:19 (9 sec)
You said that they -- that -- that you did not know the news during the call. But were you surprised by -- was the White House surprised by Hamas saying that they've reached a deal or agreeing to the agreement? 104

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:12:19-00:12:40 (21 sec)
It wasn't like we had a heads up about it. We -- we knew that, as I said publicly, they had a proposal in front of them, and as was just remi- -- I was just reminded of the fact that I said many times it was -- the ball was in Hamas's court. So, we certainly knew that they had it before them, and we were waiting on word. 105

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:12:40-00:12:54 (14 sec)
We had hoped that there would be word very, very soon. We certainly hope that there could be word today. But did we know the exact moment that Al Jazeera was able to break the news that Hamas had a response? No, we didn't predict that particular moment. 106

Question

Very Positive
00:12:54-00:13:02 (7 sec)
Are you encouraged that that -- that there -- that you are at this sensitive point? You've been talking about it's a very sensitive point, it's important -- 107

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:13:02-00:13:09 (7 sec)
We'll be encouraged when we get a deal in place and we can start seeing hostages get back with their families. That'll be encouraging. 108

Question

Neutral
00:13:09-00:13:21 (12 sec)
And if I can, what role, if any, do you feel like the leaflets and the pressure of an evacuation or the evacu- -- the announcement of evacuating, do you think that had any role in -- in triggering Hamas to do -- 109

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:21-00:13:21 (1 sec)
I don't think we know that. 110

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:13:21-00:13:23 (2 sec)
Go ahead. 111

Question

Leans Negative
00:13:23-00:13:38 (15 sec)
John, can you talk a little bit about the timeline, as the administration understands it, of those evacuations? How much time do people have to leave? Do you -- did you guys put any demands on the Israelis in terms of how those evacuations are to take place under the parameters that you guys have talked 112

Question

Unknown
00:13:38-00:13:39 (1 sec)
about previously? 113

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:39-00:13:50 (11 sec)
We're asking questions of the Israelis about what their intentions are here and what the -- what the larger purpose of this evacuation is and sort of where they're wan- -- wanting to go. 114

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:50-00:13:57 (8 sec)
I think to answer your question, though, you'd really have to go to the Israelis and to -- to speak to their military operations and plans. I'm not going to get ahead of that. 115

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:13:57-00:14:07 (10 sec)
But are we curious about the timing and the intent and where they're going? Yes, absolutely. And the President expressed our curiosity about that on the call today. 116

Question

Slightly Positive
00:14:07-00:14:17 (10 sec)
But more than curiosity, are you expressing what you want to see happen in terms of those evacuations, how they take place, whether Israel is prepared for people moving around within Rafah? 117

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:14:17-00:14:52 (35 sec)
I would just say -- again, without -- without -- I don't want to get ahead of operations that haven't happened. I don't want to speak for the Israeli military. I can just say that we don't want to see operations in and around Rafah that make it harder for the people that are seeking refuge there and shelter to be safe and secure. And we have made that case privately to the Israelis. The President did it again today with the Prime Minister directly. We certainly made it publicly. We've been very, very consistent about that. 118

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:14:52-00:14:52 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Jacqui. 119

Question

Very Negative
00:14:52-00:15:11 (19 sec)
Thank you, Karine. John, noting everything that you've said about the concerns expressed by the U.S. about the risk to Palestinians in Gaza with a full-scale operation, is the U.S. still aligned with Israel in its intention to eliminate the terrorist threat posed by Hamas? 120

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:11-00:15:14 (3 sec)
Of course. 121

Question

Neutral
00:15:14-00:15:28 (14 sec)
And is there any feeling that Hamas may be trying to trick the public in some way? You heard Israeli officials commenting on this latest proposal as -- as a trick, and -- 122

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:28-00:15:28 ( sec)
Oh -- 123

Question

Slightly Negative
00:15:28-00:15:32 (3 sec)
-- there's been a lot of pressure to -- go ahead. 124

John Kirby

Neutral
00:15:32-00:15:34 (3 sec)
Yeah, no, I'm just -- go ahead. Sorry. I'm listening. 125

Question

Very Positive
00:15:34-00:16:06 (31 sec)
Well, there's -- there's been, you know, pressure on the administration to make sure that the needs of Palestinians are -- are being served and that the U.S. support for Israel isn't, you know, overhanded. And you had the -- the report come out earlier today or maybe yesterday that the U.S. was potentially weighing withholding an arms shipment to Israel. Is there any concern that Hamas was trying to capitalize on that public pressure and, you know, "play a trick," as Israeli officials put it? 126

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:16:06-00:16:18 (12 sec)
I mean, I don't think there's any possible way I can answer that question unless I got between the ears of Mr. Sinwar, and that's a place I really don't want to be. I think that is a great question for him. 127

John Kirby

Positive
00:16:18-00:16:30 (12 sec)
You know, it's interesting. I stand up here and answer questions, Karine does, Matt Miller at the State Department, Pentagon colleagues, the President does, Prime Minister Netanyahu does, and the IDF military spokesman does. 128

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:16:30-00:16:47 (17 sec)
You know who hasn't answered a single question about his intentions and what games he might be playing or where he intends to take this? Mr. Sinwar, the head of Hamas. And I think it's -- I think it's high time that he answers some of these questions and he come clean about what his intentions are. I don't know. 129

John Kirby

Positive
00:16:47-00:17:04 (17 sec)
All I know is we got a response. Bill Burns is looking at that response. He's talking to the Israelis about it. And we'll see where this goes. Hopefully -- hopefully -- whatever is in this thing, hopefully it can lead to those hostages getting out real, real soon with their families where they need to be. 130

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:17:04-00:17:10 (6 sec)
And as each new -- as each day passes, their lives get further at risk. So, time is really of the essence here. 131

Question

Neutral
00:17:10-00:17:15 (5 sec)
Well, noting your answer, is it still a good idea to try to negotiate with terrorists, then? 132

John Kirby

Negative
00:17:15-00:17:28 (13 sec)
It's -- it's not -- it's not like -- it's not like we sit down pie in the sky and say, "Hey, today's a good day. Let's negotiate with terrorists." You -- you got to negotiate with who you got to negotiate to get people back with their family. 133

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:17:28-00:17:37 (9 sec)
So, frankly, if -- if there's a better idea to get those hostages home with their families, I think we'd love to hear them. I just don't think there's another way to do it. There's no other way to do it, quite frankly. 134

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:17:37-00:17:54 (16 sec)
You got to negotiate through Qatar with Hamas to get those folks back with their families. And it -- does -- you know, that's the hard work of diplomacy, qu- -- you know, sometimes it means you got to sit across the table from some really bad folks that you'd rather not have to talk to. But they got those hostages, and we want them back. 135

Question

Neutral
00:17:54-00:17:56 (3 sec)
But the U.S. backs Israel's intention to eliminate Hamas? 136

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:17:56-00:18:02 (6 sec)
We, of course, back their right and responsibility to go after the Hamas threat, to eliminate that threat. 137

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:18:02-00:18:18 (17 sec)
Now, look, Jacqui, I've said many times here, you're not going to eliminate an ideology through military operations. But does Israel have a right and responsibility to eliminate a threat that they suffered on the 7th of October? A hundred percent. Absolutely, they do. And we've been nothing but -- but very steadfast on that. 138

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:18:18-00:18:20 (2 sec)
Go ahead, Gabe. 139

Question

Very Positive
00:18:20-00:18:26 (5 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Thanks, John. Speaking about a tick-tock, what prompted this morning's call? 140

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:18:26-00:18:51 (25 sec)
I think you've heard me say many times now, they talk as appropriate. And given where we were in the hostage deal negotiations, given where we were with humanitarian assistance and Kerom -- Kerem Shalom being shut down for several days, certainly given where we were with expectations in Rafah, this made all the sense in the world for today to be the day that the President and Prime Minister Netanyahu speak. 141

Question

Very Negative
00:18:51-00:18:59 (8 sec)
But when exactly was the call set up? Was it this morning? Was it yesterday after the rocket attack that killed the three Israelis? Or what -- what specifically prompted it? 142

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:59-00:19:03 (4 sec)
I would tell you the initial planning for the call took place late in the weekend, is about what I'd say. 143

Question

Unknown
00:19:03-00:19:10 (7 sec)
And one more on a different topic. Why did the U.S. halt an ammunition shipment to Israel last week? 144

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:19:10-00:19:24 (14 sec)
Yeah, look, I've seen the press reporting on this. All I can tell you is that -- to Jacqui's question -- our support for Israel's security remains ironclad. And I'm not going to get into the specifics of -- of one shipment over another. 145

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:19:24-00:19:36 (13 sec)
It's our -- NBC is reporting that it included 2,000-pound bombs that may have been used in Rafah. Did concerns over Rafah and what the Israelis could use this ammunition for -- did that play any role in halting that shipment? 146

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:19:36-00:19:40 (4 sec)
I don't have a better answer for you other than the one I just gave you. 147

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:19:40-00:19:41 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 148

Question

Very Positive
00:19:41-00:19:49 (8 sec)
I just want to go at that question one more time. Did the United States put a pause on an arms shipment to Israel? Is that -- is that reporting correct? 149

John Kirby

Unknown
00:19:49-00:19:53 (4 sec)
I'm not going to confirm that report. 150

Question

Very Positive
00:19:53-00:20:20 (27 sec)
Okay. Just another on another topic. Well, same topic, different question. Over the weekend, the Queen of Jordan said in an interview that the United States is giving the world mixed messages, offering both expressions of concern and support for Gaza in addition to providing arms to Israel. Can you -- can you comment at all on this -- on her criticism or her critique of the United States' position? 151

John Kirby

Unknown
00:20:20-00:20:27 (7 sec)
I'm -- I'm not going to -- I don't think it'd be appropriate to get into a back-and-forth here from the podium on this. 152

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:20:27-00:20:45 (18 sec)
We have said that two things can be true at once, and they are. Israel has a right and a responsibility to defend itself, and we're going to continue to provide for their security and help them with that. And at the same time, they have a right and obligation to be careful about civilian casualties and getting more humanitarian assistance in. 153

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:20:45-00:21:04 (19 sec)
And that's why we're working so hard on this hostage deal. And that's why the American -- the President and the United States continue to lead the world in terms of actually making a difference in that outcome, making life better for the Palestinian people. No other country is doing more than the United States to try to increase that -- that assistance and get this -- get this ceasefire in place. 154

Question

Slightly Positive
00:21:04-00:21:15 (11 sec)
And just really quickly, the Israelis stopped a broadcast of Al Jazeera over the weekend. Can you comment on whether that's an appropriate action for a United States ally? 155

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:21:15-00:21:34 (19 sec)
We don't support that action. As we said very clearly on World Press Freedom Day on Friday -- I know Karine talked about this -- the work of independent journalism around the world is absolutely vital. It's important to an informed citizenry and public, but it's also important to -- to help inform the policymaking process. 156

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:21:34-00:21:36 (2 sec)
So, we don't support that at all. 157

Question

Unknown
00:21:36-00:21:38 (3 sec)
And did the President bring it up at all in his call with -- 158

John Kirby

Unknown
00:21:38-00:21:43 (4 sec)
The focus of the call was on the hostage deal and on Rafah. 159

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:21:43-00:21:45 (2 sec)
Okay. I'm going to give it to Al Jazeera. 160

John Kirby

Neutral
00:21:45-00:21:46 (1 sec)
You saw my -- sorry. You saw, I -- 161

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:21:46-00:21:46 ( sec)
Sorry. 162

John Kirby

Neutral
00:21:46-00:21:50 (4 sec)
-- I think I put a statement out this morning on that. So, we have officially reacted to it. Sorry. 163

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:21:50-00:21:51 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Al Jazeera. 164

Question

Very Positive
00:21:51-00:22:01 (10 sec)
Thank you so much, Karine. Thank you, John. Is the administration planning on discussing the banning of Al Jazeera in Israel with the Israeli government? 165

Question

Very Positive
00:22:01-00:22:09 (8 sec)
We just celebrated the freedom of the press here in the United States and across the globe. And then this decision came, and it was really a big shock. 166

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:09-00:22:11 (2 sec)
As I just said, we don't -- 167

Question

Unknown
00:22:11-00:22:15 (4 sec)
Would the administration raise this issue with the government of Israel? 168

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:15-00:22:20 (5 sec)
We have raised this issue, and I made a public statement about it. 169

Question

Slightly Positive
00:22:20-00:22:27 (7 sec)
And on -- on the -- on Rafah. Has Israel presented or provided the administration with a comprehensive plan for the [inaudible]? 170

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:22:27-00:22:28 ( sec)
No. 171

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:22:28-00:22:29 (2 sec)
Go ahead, Ed. 172

Question

Neutral
00:22:29-00:22:35 (5 sec)
I want to take you back to this report on whether shipments were paused. 173

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:22:35-00:22:35 (1 sec)
Okay. 174

Question

Negative
00:22:35-00:22:37 (1 sec)
Are the reports wrong? 175

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:22:37-00:22:51 (14 sec)
I'm not going to confirm the press reporting, Ed. What I've said is our security commitments to Israel are ironclad. The President pushed very hard to get that supplemental funding so that we could continue to help Israel with its security needs and -- 176

Question

Very Positive
00:22:51-00:22:54 (3 sec)
You can appreciate the ambiguity makes it sound like it's true. 177

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:54-00:22:55 (1 sec)
I can't -- 178

Question

Unknown
00:22:55-00:22:56 (1 sec)
That we held it up. 179

John Kirby

Positive
00:22:56-00:23:02 (6 sec)
I can't speak for what you appreciate in my answer. [Laughter] All I can do is tell you that my answer is not going to change. 180

Question

Very Negative
00:23:02-00:23:09 (7 sec)
All right. What is the definition of a assault or attack on Rafah, in the view of the White House, that would be seen as impermissible? 181

John Kirby

Somewhat Negative
00:23:09-00:23:11 (2 sec)
There hasn't been an assault or an attack -- 182

Question

Slightly Positive
00:23:11-00:23:13 (2 sec)
Well, there's reports tonight that there are -- 183

John Kirby

Unknown
00:23:13-00:23:15 (2 sec)
-- in terms of a ground operation at this time. 184

Question

Slightly Positive
00:23:15-00:23:15 ( sec)
Okay. 185

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:23:15-00:23:28 (13 sec)
So, let's not get ahead of where we are. The President did express, again, our concerns about operations in Rafah that would put at risk these -- these people finding or trying to find shelter there. 186

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:23:28-00:23:49 (21 sec)
I think it would be a futile e- -- exercise for me to get up here and -- and give you a laundry list of what would or would not compose some kind of ground operation in Rafah. We have to -- well, let me put it another way -- the IDF has to speak to what their intentions and their plans are. 187

Question

Unknown
00:23:49-00:23:55 (7 sec)
But it's still ground operation versus missiles that may be landing over Rafah tonight, which is what we're hearing. 188

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:23:55-00:24:09 (13 sec)
Well, it doesn't matter whether it's missiles or rockets. Things that kill innocent people -- that's not okay. And, again, the President made it clear that we don't want to see operations in Rafah that put at risk -- 189

Question

Unknown
00:24:09-00:24:10 (1 sec)
And how does -- 190

John Kirby

Unknown
00:24:10-00:24:11 (2 sec)
-- those million and a half people that are there. 191

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:24:11-00:24:18 (6 sec)
How does the President assess Bill Burns's ongoing attempts to make sure this deal comes together? 192

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:24:18-00:24:23 (6 sec)
It's a nice side way of getting at sort of talking to the parameters of the deal. I appreciate that. He's very grateful for -- 193

Question

Leans Positive
00:24:23-00:24:26 (2 sec)
Oh, no, I was -- I was more genuinely interested in what he thinks -- 194

John Kirby

Unknown
00:24:26-00:24:26 ( sec)
Oh, really? 195

Question

Unknown
00:24:26-00:24:28 (3 sec)
-- of the CIA Director's work on this, yes. [Laughter] 196

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:24:28-00:24:32 (3 sec)
Excellent. I'm sorry. I impugned your question. [Laughter] 197

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:24:32-00:24:49 (17 sec)
The -- look, I think he's very grateful for the -- the work that Director Burns and the whole team has been doing to try to get us to this point. But it only really matters if we can get the deal in place -- and I'm sure Director Burns would agree me -- would agree with me on that -- and those hostages can get home. 198

John Kirby

Positive
00:24:49-00:24:57 (8 sec)
But he's -- he's done terrific work thus far, and I know that he wants to see th- -- get this across the finish line, as this -- just as much as we do. 199

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:24:57-00:24:57 (1 sec)
Jonathan. 200

Question

Neutral
00:24:57-00:25:15 (17 sec)
Thank you, Karine. Admiral, on a different topic. Reports breaking just the last few minutes that a U.S. soldier has been detained in Russia. This apparently happened in the last few days. The reporting is he had been stationed in Korea, traveled to Russia on his own. He's being accused of some sort of theft. Are -- is the administration aware of this report? 201

John Kirby

Positive
00:25:15-00:25:15 ( sec)
Yes. 202

Question

Unknown
00:25:15-00:25:17 (1 sec)
What can you tell us about what happened? 203

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:25:17-00:25:25 (8 sec)
I can't really say much about it right now, Jonathan. I hope you can understand that. And, certainly, it's a better question put to our DOD colleagues. But we are aware of this case. 204

Question

Very Negative
00:25:25-00:25:46 (21 sec)
And other matter just related to Russia. There has been threats from Moscow in the last couple days about striting -- striking British military facilities because of the -- and also simulating nuclear drills, as it sharply rises tensions because of weapons manufactured in the UK being used in the conflict. This says it could potentially apply to other ally countries as well -- theoretically, the United States. 205

Question

Unknown
00:25:46-00:25:48 (2 sec)
Do you have a response to that? 206

John Kirby

Negative
00:25:48-00:26:02 (15 sec)
Well, what I'd say, number one, is it's just reckless and irresponsible for the leader of a major nuclear-armed power to be saber-rattling the way that he is with respect to potential use for -- for nuclear weapons. 207

John Kirby

Leans Positive
00:26:02-00:26:15 (13 sec)
We're -- obviously, we monitor this and have continued to monitor this very closely. I can tell you we've seen nothing, even despite the reckless rhetoric, that would cause us to change our strategic deterrent posture. 208

John Kirby

Somewhat Negative
00:26:15-00:26:32 (17 sec)
And, look, lastly, if -- if Mr. Putin and Russian officials are worried about their troops in Ukraine getting hit with weapons from other countries, then the easiest thing to do is just take your troops and leave. 209

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:26:32-00:26:35 (3 sec)
Thank you. 210

Question

Leans Positive
00:26:35-00:26:47 (11 sec)
There are reports of AFP right now that Israel is committing airstrikes on Rafah -- intense airstrikes on Rafah right now. What would that timing mean to the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister? 211

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:26:47-00:26:59 (12 sec)
Well, [inaudible], you -- you know something I don't know. I haven't seen those reports. I can't confirm it. I'll just go back to what I've said, I don't know, half a dozen, if not more, times today: We don't support operations in Rafah that put people at greater risk. 212

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:26:59-00:27:02 (3 sec)
Go ahead. 213

Question

Very Positive
00:27:02-00:27:41 (39 sec)
Thank you. Thank you, Karine, and thank you, John. I just wanted to make it clear that regarding the limit on the refined petroleum provided by Russia to North Korea, the annual refined petroleum limit under U.N. sanctions against North Korea is 500,000 barrels. But last week, you say that the limit was exceeding that 6- -- 165,000 barrels in March alone. So, how many barrels were supplied in January and February? 214

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:41-00:27:47 (6 sec)
I will have to take that question and get back to you. I didn't bring the barrel data with me today. 215

Question

Positive
00:27:47-00:28:23 (36 sec)
And one one more quick question again. State -- yes, State Department Spokesperson Miller said that the sanctions against this will be imposed through these months, and a North Korea oil tanker sanctioned by the U.N. is currently staying in Chinese water. So, is China included in the sanctions this time? Or U.N. sanctions against Russia and sanctions against China are together? 216

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:28:23-00:28:28 (6 sec)
I -- I will admit that I will owe you now yet another answer. I'll get back to you with something more detailed. 217

John Kirby

Neutral
00:28:28-00:28:50 (21 sec)
I will only just say, to exit myself from this question gracefully, that -- [laughter] -- that -- that we want everybody to enforce the sanctions that are against North Korea appropriately and consistently. And not everybody does. And North Korea has benefited from sanctions evasions by countries in the region and beyond the region. I'll leave it at that. 218

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:28:50-00:28:53 (3 sec)
Okay. I'm going to -- we're going to have to start wrapping it up. 219

Question

Slightly Positive
00:28:53-00:29:16 (23 sec)
Thank you very much, Karine. Thank you very much, John. I have a question on Russia and growing ties between China and Russia. Putin is reportedly visiting China this month, and right before this visit, just last week, we learned that Russian police raided the homes of Falun Gong practitioners in Russia -- this is a group persecuted in China -- and detained several of them. 220

Question

Unknown
00:29:16-00:29:20 (4 sec)
Does -- does the White House have any reaction to this? And then I have a follow-up one. 221

John Kirby

Positive
00:29:20-00:29:33 (13 sec)
I haven't seen the reports about the detention of these individuals. If the -- if they're true, certainly, that would be concerning to us. But I'd probably refer you to the State Department to speak a little bit more about that than -- than I can. 222

John Kirby

Neutral
00:29:33-00:29:55 (22 sec)
Just, again, writ -- writ large, we have seen China and Russia try to go -- grow closer together. We believe a big reason for that is, frankly, the United States and -- and putting themselves in positions to -- to either oppose our foreign policy objectives or to try to be an obstacle to them in many, many different ways. 223

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:55-00:29:58 (3 sec)
So, it's -- it's concerning to us. 224

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:29:58-00:30:13 (16 sec)
The most specific concern that we have right now is the fact that some Chinese companies are providing microelectronics and components so that Mr. Putin can continue his defense industrial base improvements and developments and put weapons in the field that just kill innocent Ukrainians. 225

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:30:13-00:30:21 (7 sec)
And, again, we've been -- we've made those concerns clear directly to our Chinese counterparts and at the U.N. 226

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:30:21-00:30:24 (3 sec)
All right. Jared. Ja- -- oh, yeah -- 227

Question

Unknown
00:30:24-00:30:24 ( sec)
Oh -- 228

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown