Skip to content
Fact
ba
.
se

Press Briefing Karine Jean-Pierre Holds a Press Briefing at The White House - November 7, 2023

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

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:00-00:00:02 (3 sec)
So much excitement out here. 1

Question

Unknown
00:00:02-00:00:03 (1 sec)
It's the jacket. 2

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:03-00:00:13 (10 sec)
All right, all right. All right, class, everybody -- [laughter]. 3

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:13-00:00:20 (6 sec)
Okay. All right, everyone. It is -- it is a serious day indeed. 4

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:20-00:00:36 (16 sec)
So, good afternoon. Today, as part of our "10 days of 10 Drugs" series, we're highlighting Januvia, a drug that treats diabetes and that was selected for Medicare price negotiation as part of President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. 5

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:36-00:00:47 (11 sec)
Last year, around 885,000 seniors were prescribed Januvia and spent, on -- on average, up to 500 bucks a month for this lifesaving drug. 6

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:47-00:00:58 (11 sec)
One of those seniors is Stephen from North Carolina, who wrote to the President that he pays over 500 bucks a month for this lifesaving medicine. 7

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:00:58-00:01:15 (17 sec)
For years, politicians talked about taking on Big Pharma to lower drug prices for seniors. All the while, Big Pharma continued to rake in record profits and spent $400 million on lobbyists to keep prices high for seniors. 8

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:01:15-00:01:23 (9 sec)
President Biden and congressional Democrats finally changed that by passing the Inflation Reduction Act without a single Republican vote. 9

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:01:23-00:01:40 (17 sec)
As a result, for the first time ever, instead of drug companies charging Americans whatever they want to -- whatever they want to for -- for saving drugs like Januvia, Medicare will be able to negotiate low- -- lowering drug prices for Americans like Stephen. 10

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:01:40-00:01:51 (11 sec)
As we announced a short time ago, President Biden will host President Joko Widodo of Indonesia for a bilateral meeting at the White House on Monday, November 13th. 11

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:01:51-00:02:03 (12 sec)
During the visit, President Biden will reaffirm the United States' commitment to deepening our nearly 75-year-long partnership between the world's second- and third-largest democracies. 12

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:02:03-00:02:28 (25 sec)
The leaders will explore opportunities to enhance cooperation on the clean energy transition, advance economic prosperity, bolster regional peace and stability, and reinforce our people-to-people ties. The two leaders will also coordinate on efforts to reinforce ASEAN centrality and uphold international law and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific. 13

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:02:28-00:02:37 (9 sec)
With that, my colleague from NSC, Admiral John Kirby, is here to give any update that we have on Israel and take any of your foreign policy questions. 14

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:02:37-00:02:39 (2 sec)
With that -- 15

John Kirby

Unknown
00:02:39-00:02:46 (7 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Good afternoon, everybody. 16

Question

Unknown
00:02:46-00:02:48 (2 sec)
Good afternoon. 17

John Kirby

Unknown
00:02:48-00:03:08 (21 sec)
So, today, obviously, marks one month here since the horrific Hamas attacks on October 7th. And we all just want to take a moment to acknowledge all the victims of that horrific act of terror: people slaughtered at a music festival, murdered in front of their kids in their home. Just a -- it was a horrible day. 18

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:08-00:03:26 (17 sec)
And also, it was a day where dozens and dozens of people were taken hostage -- many of them still being held hostage. So, we also want to say that our thoughts continue to be with all of them and -- and their families and their loved ones. 19

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:26-00:03:38 (13 sec)
I can only imagine the anguish that these families are still going through and have now for the past month -- the pain that they're feeling, the strong desire to get that seat filled at the dining room table again. 20

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:38-00:03:50 (12 sec)
We are going to continue to pursue every possible measure that we can to get those hostages released and to get those folks back with their families where they belong. And again, we continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. 21

John Kirby

Unknown
00:03:50-00:04:19 (29 sec)
We're also keeping in our thoughts and prayers, this one month in, the many, many thousands of innocent Palestinians who have been killed in the conflict since October 7th and the many more who are injured and wounded in the conduct of this -- of these operations and, quite frankly, the million and a half that had been displaced internally from their homes. We're -- we're mindful of that suffering as well. 22

John Kirby

Unknown
00:04:19-00:04:33 (14 sec)
And one month in, it's good for everybody to take a knee, take a pause, and remember the scope of the suffering here and the terrible images many of us have seen coming out of both Israel and Gaza. 23

John Kirby

Unknown
00:04:33-00:04:57 (24 sec)
Now, on the humanitarian side, I can tell you that over the last 24 hours, 93 trucks were able to enter Gaza through the Rafah border. That was as of yesterday. That brings the total to 569 trucks since October 21st. And as we've said many times before, we know that's not enough. It's a trickle. 24

John Kirby

Unknown
00:04:57-00:05:07 (10 sec)
I mean, as a matter of fact, before October 7th, that's about the number that was getting in every day. Now it fluctuated a little bit, but it was several hundred -- up to 500 a day. 25

John Kirby

Unknown
00:05:07-00:05:35 (28 sec)
As you all saw yesterday, the President spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and he certainly discussed the need to continue to try to accelerate and increase the amount of humanitarian assistance that's going in. He also talked about the importance of pauses in the fighting to allow for aid to get in, people to get out, and for hostages to be released. We'll keep those -- that dialogue going, obviously, with -- with the Prime Minister and his War Cabinet. 26

John Kirby

Unknown
00:05:35-00:05:51 (17 sec)
On the idea of people getting out -- so, we do expect more individuals to depart Gaza today via the Rafah crossing. To date, there's been over 400 U.S. citizens and their families who have been able to depart and have been seeking the assistance of our consular team at the embassy in Cairo. 27

John Kirby

Unknown
00:05:51-00:06:00 (8 sec)
In just the last 24 hours, about 96 -- so, just under a hundred -- U.S. citizens and family members were able to -- to move across that border. 28

John Kirby

Unknown
00:06:00-00:06:12 (13 sec)
And as I said, it's very fluid. We won't get the final count until the end of the day today, because the day is still going on. But we do expect that there will be more Americans to come out today. 29

John Kirby

Unknown
00:06:12-00:06:22 (10 sec)
So, keeping that Rafah crossing open for aid to enter and Americans and other foreign nationals to leave has been a major priority for the President and will remain so going forward. 30

John Kirby

Unknown
00:06:22-00:06:29 (7 sec)
And as I said, we're going to be focused on getting folks out, getting aid in, and getting those hostages released. 31

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:06:29-00:06:31 (2 sec)
All right. Go ahead, Selina. 32

Question

Unknown
00:06:31-00:06:43 (13 sec)
Thank you, Admiral. The U.N. Gen- -- Secretary-General said Gaza is "becoming a graveyard for children." He said the IDF is hitting civilians, hospitals, refugee camps, mosques, churches, and U.N. facilities, including shelters. 33

Question

Unknown
00:06:43-00:06:50 (7 sec)
So, if a warzone is "becoming a graveyard for children," can you still say that Israel is following the laws of war? 34

John Kirby

Unknown
00:06:50-00:07:06 (16 sec)
What I'll tell you is that we continue to stress to our Israeli counterparts that they be as discriminant and careful in their targeting as possible. And it is sad to see -- it's horrible to see the images of young kids being pulled out of rubble and -- and so many of them not making it. 35

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:06-00:07:19 (13 sec)
Hamas is putting those children and their families in greater danger by not letting them go; by encouraging them to stay, by sheltering in their homes; they're building tunnels under their hospitals; and by holding children hostages. 36

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:19-00:07:24 (5 sec)
We know that there's a portion of the 240-plus that they're holding as hostages are kids. They're kids. 37

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:24-00:07:30 (6 sec)
And we've been trying mightily to get those children released. We've had no success so far. 38

Question

Unknown
00:07:30-00:07:47 (17 sec)
And Israel's Prime Minister told ABC News that Israel will have, quote, "overall security responsibility [over Gaza] for an indefinite period." But the President said that it would be a big mistake for Israel to reoccupy Gaza. So, how much daylight is there between what Israel and the U.S. see as the future of Gaza? 39

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:47-00:07:53 (6 sec)
We've been having active discussions with our Israeli counterparts about what post-conflict Gaza ought to look like. 40

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:53-00:07:58 (5 sec)
The President maintains his position that a -- a reoccupation by Israeli forces is not the right thing to do. 41

John Kirby

Unknown
00:07:58-00:08:11 (13 sec)
We'll let them speak to their intentions. But we are definitely having conversations about what the post-conflict environment ought to look like and what governance in Gaza ought to look like. 42

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:11-00:08:18 (7 sec)
One thing there's absolutely no daylight on is: Hamas can't be part of that equation. We can't go back to October 6th. 43

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:08:18-00:08:20 (1 sec)
Go ahead, M.J. 44

Question

Unknown
00:08:20-00:08:34 (15 sec)
A senior U.S. official told us last week that the U.S.' expectation is that, in the coming days, we should see a decrease in Israel's air campaign and more of a tactical ground offensive. Can you tell us a little bit more about what led to that assessment? And have you seen that in the past few days? 45

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:34-00:08:44 (10 sec)
I can't speak for what an anonymous official said about Israeli military operations. I'm not going to get into the habit of speaking of a tactical nature to their intentions, plans, or activities here from the podium. 46

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:44-00:08:51 (6 sec)
They have obviously gone in on the ground with the intention of putting pressure on Hamas leadership and to find, fix, and finish some of that leadership. 47

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:51-00:08:53 (3 sec)
I'll let them speak to those operations. 48

Question

Unknown
00:08:53-00:09:11 (18 sec)
And -- and, John, you said yesterday that you wouldn't want to overstate the efforts that Israel is making to limit civilian casualties. That's a change from a week ago when you said that it was obvious Israel was trying to minimize casualties. Can you just help us understand that shift in the language? 49

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:11-00:09:13 (2 sec)
No shift. Both can be true. 50

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:13-00:09:18 (5 sec)
There are -- we have seen indications that -- in certain operational environments, that they are -- they are making an effort. 51

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:18-00:09:39 (21 sec)
For instance, let's go back to the ground thing. And again, I don't want to be armchair quarterbacking another military, but -- but they -- they're -- they're moving into and onto and into Gaza with smaller units than what a lot of people thought they would do. They thought it was going to be this big, massive formation into North Gaza. And that's not what they've been doing. 52

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:39-00:09:53 (14 sec)
And when you are on the ground, while you -- the risk to your troops gets -- is higher, you can be more discriminant. You can be more careful in -- in your formations and your targeting and what you're going after than you can be from the air. 53

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:53-00:10:00 (7 sec)
But it's also true that airstrikes continue. And it's also true that civilians keep dying from these airstrikes. 54

Question

Unknown
00:10:00-00:10:06 (6 sec)
Is there any scenario where future aid to Israel would be contingent on how they conduct themselves in terms of minimizing civilian casualties? 55

John Kirby

Unknown
00:10:06-00:10:27 (22 sec)
We've been crystal clear since the very beginning of this conflict that -- that one of the things that separates us from Hamas, who actually did try and intend to kill innocent civilians, is that democracies like the U.S. and Israel observe the law of armed conflict, that we respect civilian life. And we've been clear since the beginning with them that we want to -- we want to continue to urge them to do that. 56

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:10:27-00:10:29 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Trevor. 57

Question

Unknown
00:10:29-00:10:41 (13 sec)
There's hundreds of USAID employees that have signed onto a letter disagreeing with U.S. policy towards Israel. There's some dissent cables floating around the State Department. Why are so many federal government employees at odds with the policies that you're talking about? 58

John Kirby

Unknown
00:10:41-00:10:53 (11 sec)
Well, I -- I think one of the great things about, certainly, work- -- working at the State Department and at other agencies is that multiple perspectives and multiple opinions are -- are respected. 59

John Kirby

Unknown
00:10:53-00:11:17 (24 sec)
And there's an avenue, like you said -- the dissent channel. And I can't speak for what is or what isn't in the dissent channel. But having worked at the State Department, I can tell you that's a time-honored and tradition -- traditional way for employees there at the State Department to voice their concerns. And I think that's a good thing. 60

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:17-00:11:28 (11 sec)
The President understands that there's strong emotions and feelings here, all around, all across the board. And here inside the administration and in the federal government, that's certainly the case as well. 61

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:28-00:11:39 (12 sec)
And he appreciates the fact that people feel strongly and that there are multiple perspectives. And we're going to continue to listen to them, Trevor, both inside and outside the government. 62

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:39-00:11:51 (12 sec)
And we have been engaging with -- with partners and organizations and experts and analysts and people with different perspectives to listen to their concerns, make sure that we understand them as we develop policy. 63

Question

Unknown
00:11:51-00:11:58 (6 sec)
And is the -- the President frustrated at all with -- with his inability to prevail upon his Israeli counterpart to engage in these humanitarian pauses? 64

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:58-00:12:07 (9 sec)
There have been humanitarian pauses. Already, there's been some. I mean, one of the ways we were able to get those first few hostages out was a pause in the fighting. 65

John Kirby

Unknown
00:12:07-00:12:17 (10 sec)
And Prime Minister Netanyahu, I believe, in a -- in an interview last night, also talked about the fact that he has approved certain pauses throughout the country. 66

John Kirby

Unknown
00:12:17-00:12:26 (9 sec)
So, there have been. And we are going to continue to work with our Israeli counterparts going forward to make sure that -- that we can continue to do them. 67

John Kirby

Unknown
00:12:26-00:12:43 (18 sec)
But the idea here is, you know, they're localized in terms of geography, they're limited in time and duration, and they're usually for a specific purpose or purposes: getting stuff in, getting people out. And we have every expectation that we'll be able to continue to have those conversations. 68

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:12:43-00:12:45 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Seung Min. 69

Question

Unknown
00:12:45-00:13:01 (16 sec)
Just to follow up on what you just said about the Prime Minister's comment about the little pauses. So -- so, does the U.S. see that as sort of a satisfactory response to the humanitarian pauses that President Biden has been calling for? He's talked about, like, an hour here, an hour there. 70

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:01-00:13:08 (7 sec)
It's in keeping with the conversations that we've been having with our Israeli counterparts about the need for humanitarian pauses in the fighting. 71

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:13:08-00:13:09 (1 sec)
Seung Min. 72

Question

Unknown
00:13:09-00:13:09 (1 sec)
I wanted to ask -- 73

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:13:09-00:13:10 (1 sec)
Asma, sorry. 74

Question

Unknown
00:13:10-00:13:11 (1 sec)
Oh, sorry. 75

Question

Unknown
00:13:11-00:13:13 (2 sec)
Oh, no, that's okay. 76

Question

Unknown
00:13:13-00:13:14 (1 sec)
I figured. [Laughter] 77

Question

Unknown
00:13:14-00:13:31 (17 sec)
In late October, you had referred to the fact that the administration is not drawing any red lines for Israel. As the death toll for civilians in the Gaza Strip has gone up, I wanted to ensure: Is that still the case, that the administration has no red lines at all? 78

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:31-00:13:32 (1 sec)
That is still the case. 79

Question

Unknown
00:13:32-00:14:00 (28 sec)
Okay. And then, also, a follow-up. You all have spoken a number of times about a two-state solution. And I -- this is not so tangential to the immediate conflict, but I wanted to understand. Coming in, you all have maintained a policy of recognizing Israel's control over the Golan Heights. That was a move that your predecessor made, reversing, you know, U.S. policy after half a century. Is that still the Biden administration's policy, that you have -- that you believe that Israel has sovereignty over the Golan Heights? 80

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:00-00:14:05 (5 sec)
Let me get back to you on that specific policy question. I don't want to freelance it from here. 81

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:05-00:14:09 (4 sec)
But you said something at the beginning that -- that -- talking about a two-state solution -- 82

Question

Unknown
00:14:09-00:14:09 ( sec)
Yes. 83

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:09-00:14:19 (10 sec)
-- seems tangential to what's going on, and I would respectfully disagree. It's actually -- what's going on underscores how important it is that we continue to try to make progress towards a two-state solution. 84

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:19-00:14:21 (2 sec)
But I will get you a better answer on the Golan Heights. 85

Question

Unknown
00:14:21-00:14:22 (1 sec)
On the Golan Heights. Okay, thank you. 86

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:22-00:14:23 (1 sec)
I'd rather not just spitball that. 87

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:14:23-00:14:24 (1 sec)
Nadia. 88

Question

Unknown
00:14:24-00:14:28 (3 sec)
Thank you. I want to follow up on the previous question, and I have another question. 89

Question

Unknown
00:14:28-00:14:52 (24 sec)
So, why are you not embracing these dissident voices who calls for a balance between private and public message and criticize Israel when actually it is in violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention? With due respect, John, some people think that you repeat what the Israeli army spokesman is saying. It's exactly what they're saying, you repeat in here. 90

Question

Unknown
00:14:52-00:15:07 (15 sec)
So, how can you -- why not -- these dissident voices -- not just understanding them and we have a channel because we're a democracy -- why not -- what's wrong with them? What's wrong with standing here and say, when Israel do something wrong -- because you're the best friend, you have leverage on them -- why not criticizing them? 91

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:07-00:15:12 (5 sec)
Your question presupposes that we've made some determination that the law of armed conflict has been violated. And I don't think -- 92

Question

Unknown
00:15:12-00:15:13 (1 sec)
But the U.N. says -- 93

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:13-00:15:14 (1 sec)
-- we're not at that point. 94

Question

Unknown
00:15:14-00:15:15 (2 sec)
So, you disagree with the U.N.? 95

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:15-00:15:27 (11 sec)
I -- I would just tell you that we're -- we're not going to react in near real time to every event. Israel has a right and a responsibility to defend itself, and we're going to make sure they have the tools and capabilities to do that. 96

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:27-00:15:42 (16 sec)
Again, we're one month after this. And we ought not forget what happened one month ago: 1,400 people slaughtered in their homes, at a music festival. And when Hamas decided to conduct operations, it was with the intent of killing people. 97

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:42-00:15:53 (10 sec)
You know, I he- -- I heard this word "genocide" toss- -- tossed around. But Hamas actually does have genocidal intentions against the people of Israel. They'd like to see it wiped off the map. They said so on purpose. 98

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:53-00:15:58 (5 sec)
So, that's what -- that's what's at stake here. And we're going to keep making sure that Israel has that ability to do that. 99

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:58-00:16:08 (10 sec)
Now, as for the voices, of course we respect all different voices and perspectives on this. And we know that there's a lot of -- there's a lot of high emotion here when it comes to what's going on. 100

John Kirby

Unknown
00:16:08-00:16:16 (8 sec)
We have never shied away from criticizing our friends and partners when we believe it's warranted. And we'll continue to do that. 101

John Kirby

Unknown
00:16:16-00:16:28 (13 sec)
We also believe that -- that -- that the best diplomacy, the best progress in diplomatic pursuits is to do it privately and outside the public eye. And we'll continue to do that as well. We'll continue to have those tough conversations with our good friend. 102

Question

Unknown
00:16:28-00:16:32 (4 sec)
I don't think anybody forgot what happened on October 7th. But regardless -- 103

John Kirby

Unknown
00:16:32-00:16:39 (7 sec)
I'm not saying -- I'm not saying you did forget, I'm just saying it's all good for us -- we should -- we should not forget; we should all be reminded of what happened. And it happened a month ago today. 104

Question

Unknown
00:16:39-00:17:04 (25 sec)
You talked about settlers violence in the West Bank. The President spoke about it. But there's also violence by the Israeli army. There is many Palestinians who have been shot dead in the West Bank. It's 163 since October 7th. There's also been massive arrests. It is 1,350 have been arrested under what the Israeli called an "administrative detention," i.e. they can arrest a person without a trial. 105

Question

Unknown
00:17:04-00:17:11 (7 sec)
So, is this something that concerns you? Is it something that you convey to the Israelis, considering the situation in Gaza? 106

John Kirby

Unknown
00:17:11-00:17:12 ( sec)
Yes. 107

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:17:12-00:17:12 (1 sec)
Weijia. 108

Question

Unknown
00:17:12-00:17:36 (24 sec)
Thank you, Karine. Thanks, John. I have a follow-up on M.J.'s question because I didn't hear an answer about the potential suspension of aid. I know that you've repeatedly said that you've talked to the Israelis, that the U.S. talks to them every day about minimizing civilian casualties. But do those talks include laying out any consequences if they do not, including a suspension of aid? 109

John Kirby

Unknown
00:17:36-00:17:42 (6 sec)
I'm not going to get into private diplomatic conversations that we're having with our Israeli counterparts. 110

John Kirby

Unknown
00:17:42-00:17:53 (10 sec)
I will tell you this: We're going to continue to make sure that they have the tools and the capabilities that they need to defend themselves against what clearly was an existential threat to their society and to their people. 111

John Kirby

Unknown
00:17:53-00:18:00 (7 sec)
We're going to continue to make sure they have what they need. We're also going to continue to urge them to be as careful and deliberate and discriminant in the targeting as possible. 112

Question

Unknown
00:18:00-00:18:12 (12 sec)
But Jake Sullivan, Finer, you have all said that anytime that the U.S. transfers weapons to another country, it requires assurances that those weapons will be used within the accordance of law. 113

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:12-00:18:13 (1 sec)
That's right. 114

Question

Unknown
00:18:13-00:18:14 (2 sec)
So, just to be very clear -- 115

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:14-00:18:15 (1 sec)
That's right. 116

Question

Unknown
00:18:15-00:18:15 (1 sec)
-- the U.S. does -- 117

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:15-00:18:16 (1 sec)
That's different than -- 118

Question

Unknown
00:18:16-00:18:17 (1 sec)
-- not believe -- 119

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:17-00:18:26 (9 sec)
That's different than what you're suggesting in your question, which is that we're going to layer on more restrictions on the security assistance that they're getting. And that's not what I'm -- that's not what I'm alluding to -- 120

Question

Unknown
00:18:26-00:18:28 (2 sec)
Right. No, but I'm asking about -- 121

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:28-00:18:29 (1 sec)
-- or we're not talking about that. 122

Question

Unknown
00:18:29-00:18:31 (2 sec)
-- the -- the transfer of weapons that have already happened. 123

Question

Unknown
00:18:31-00:18:39 (8 sec)
Just to be clear, the U.S. has not determined that Israel has violated any of those boundaries? 124

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:39-00:18:39 (1 sec)
No. 125

Question

Unknown
00:18:39-00:18:55 (16 sec)
And one more point of clarification on what the Prime Minister said about playing a security role in- -- indefinitely in Gaza. Does the U.S. see a distinction between that and reoccupation, or is it one and the same? 126

John Kirby

Unknown
00:18:55-00:19:18 (23 sec)
I'll let the Prime Minister speak to his comments and what he meant by "indefinite." President Biden has been very clear: We don't support a reoccupation of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces. We do think that there needs to be a healthy set of conversations about what post-conflict Gaza looks like and what governance looks like. What we absolutely agree with our Israeli counterparts on is what it can't look like, and it can't look like it looked on October 6th. 127

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:19:18-00:19:20 (2 sec)
Go ahead, Jacqui. 128

Question

Unknown
00:19:20-00:19:45 (25 sec)
Thank you, Karine. John, on the proxy attacks on U.S. troops, it -- we're now up to 40 since October 17th, with 46 service members being injured or reporting traumatic brain injuries. Does the President think that the action that was taken a couple of weeks ago to push back on this was enough? 129

John Kirby

Unknown
00:19:45-00:20:12 (27 sec)
The President felt like those were two legitimate targets directly tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that supports these militia groups, and they were ammo weapons facilities -- certainly, legitimate targets that -- that we believe not only had a practical effect on limiting some of their capability but sent a strong signal of how seriously we're going to look after our troops and facilities. 130

John Kirby

Unknown
00:20:12-00:20:29 (17 sec)
If and when we decide to respond again in the future, we'll do it at a time and in a manner of our choosing. We will absolutely take the action that we need to take. The President as Commander-in-Chief will order that action to protect our troops and facilities as he sees fit. 131

Question

Unknown
00:20:29-00:20:39 (10 sec)
Has there been any additional warning from the President since the last time we responded that this needs to stop? Because, clearly, the attacks on our troops didn't stop. 132

John Kirby

Unknown
00:20:39-00:20:52 (12 sec)
I will not get into the decision-making process or options before the Commander-in-Chief. I would just tell you that we will continue to take the action we believe is appropriate to protect our troops and our facilities. 133

Question

Unknown
00:20:52-00:21:14 (22 sec)
And then on the apparent disagreement between the U.S. and its ally, it -- to some of the other questions that you've already gotten, it -- it is notable that we're seeing the U.S. more readily acknowledge some space between what we're advising and what Israel is -- is doing, like Israel appears to be resisting the humanitarian pauses still. 134

Question

Unknown
00:21:14-00:21:37 (23 sec)
The President, the administration has been calling that for a couple of weeks, saying that we don't support indefinite occupation. That was the State Department briefing today after Netanyahu said that Israeli forces could be there for an indefinite period of time. And even in the readout from the call with the Prime Minister, the White House readout, you know, used, again, the language "extremist settlers." 135

Question

Unknown
00:21:37-00:21:48 (11 sec)
This is somewhat notably different than the kinds of language we were hearing immediately after October 7th. So, can you characterize the closeness of the relationship right now? 136

John Kirby

Unknown
00:21:48-00:21:51 (3 sec)
It's extremely close. And -- and -- 137

Question

Unknown
00:21:51-00:21:53 (2 sec)
Any distance? 138

John Kirby

Unknown
00:21:53-00:22:10 (17 sec)
And we're -- as was transmitted by the President in the call with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday, we remain solidly behind Israel as they continue to try to eliminate this threat to their people and to their sovereignty, and they're going to continue to get security assistance from the United States. There's no daylight there whatsoever. 139

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:10-00:22:17 (7 sec)
Now, look, we're friends. And friends don't have to agree on every single nuance and every single word. 140

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:17-00:22:36 (19 sec)
The Prime Minister speaks for a sovereign nation and for a sovereign people. And he should, obviously, you know, be queried about the points that he's making. But it doesn't mean that we're somehow backing away from our friend and our ally, Israel -- the strongest ally we have in the Middle East -- or we're backing off our support for what they're trying to do to protect their people. 141

Question

Unknown
00:22:36-00:22:39 (2 sec)
Or Netanyahu, in particular, given the Politico -- 142

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:39-00:22:39 (1 sec)
No. Not at all. 143

Question

Unknown
00:22:39-00:22:42 (2 sec)
-- reporting from a little while ago that there -- that was a point of discussion, whether he'd be -- 144

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:42-00:22:48 (6 sec)
I -- I'm not going to get into, you know, the -- the -- confirming that kind of -- those kinds of press reports. 145

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:48-00:22:57 (9 sec)
I would just tell you that these are two men that have known each other a long time. And I don't think it's any shock to anybody that, on a political spectrum, they're not exactly always in the same place on every issue. 146

John Kirby

Unknown
00:22:57-00:23:15 (18 sec)
But one thing they do agree on is that Israel has a right to exist as a country and they have a right and a responsibility to defend the -- that country and their citizens against that threat -- the threat that was posed to them, like on October 7th. And in the United States, they will continue to find a true friend that will continue to support their ability to do that. 147

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:23:15-00:23:17 (2 sec)
Okay. Then we'll go -- go ahead, Peter, and then we'll go to the back. 148

Question

Unknown
00:23:17-00:23:28 (11 sec)
John, we know about the strikes that took place in northeast Syria a matter of weeks ago. Just to be very clear, have there been any additional U.S. strikes against targets -- Iranian-backed proxies in Iraq or in Syria -- beyond those? 149

John Kirby

Unknown
00:23:28-00:23:29 (1 sec)
You mean from the United States? 150

Question

Unknown
00:23:29-00:23:30 (1 sec)
From the United States. 151

John Kirby

Unknown
00:23:30-00:23:30 ( sec)
No. 152

Question

Unknown
00:23:30-00:23:48 (18 sec)
There have not. So, just to be clear then, there have been at least 17 attacks on bases that house Americans since that last set of strikes. Will you agree that those strikes did not deter these Iranian-backed proxies from continuing their assault on American bases? 153

John Kirby

Unknown
00:23:48-00:24:04 (16 sec)
I would certainly agree that there have been continued attacks. I would also note that none of them have been effective -- and, in many cases, thwarted before they could pose any kind of a direct challenge. And that, again, Peter, we'll -- we'll make the decisions on our own about -- 154

Question

Unknown
00:24:04-00:24:07 (2 sec)
But to be clear, if you agree that there have -- 155

John Kirby

Unknown
00:24:07-00:24:07 (1 sec)
-- how and if we're going to respond. 156

Question

Unknown
00:24:07-00:24:15 (7 sec)
But to be clear, if you agree that there have been continued attacks -- these 17 -- isn't that evidence alone? Do you agree that that's evidence alone that it has not deterred them from continuing? 157

John Kirby

Unknown
00:24:15-00:24:30 (15 sec)
It's -- it's certainly evidence that some of these militia groups still believe that there's value in -- in continuing to try to strike at our troops and facilities. And our message to them is: You need to be careful because we're going to do what we have to do to protect our troops and our facilities. 158

Question

Unknown
00:24:30-00:24:47 (16 sec)
Let me ask about the situation in Gaza then, if I can, very quickly. In Ukraine, the U.S. put restrictions on how some U.S.-provided munitions could be used. There couldn't be any targeting in Russia, for example. Has the U.S. put any restrictions on how Israel can use U.S.-provided munitions in its war with Hamas in Gaza? 159

John Kirby

Unknown
00:24:47-00:25:05 (18 sec)
As is keeping -- in keeping with U.S. law, we -- we provide security assistance to any foreign nation, including Israel, with the expectation -- the full expectation that those weapons will be used in keeping with the law of armed conflict. That's no different here for Israel than it is for anybody else. 160

John Kirby

Unknown
00:25:05-00:25:13 (8 sec)
And I want to go back to what I said before about the -- the message to these groups is: Don't and stop. These attacks are unacceptable. 161

Question

Unknown
00:25:13-00:25:22 (10 sec)
Then if I can ask -- just to -- to punctuate the last thought that we were just talking about: To be clear, does the U.S. -- and they have to be within the laws of war, then, is our position on this armed conflict. So -- so does -- 162

John Kirby

Unknown
00:25:22-00:25:26 (3 sec)
All mat- -- all security assistance is governed by the law -- 163

Question

Unknown
00:25:26-00:25:26 ( sec)
Correct. 164

John Kirby

Unknown
00:25:26-00:25:30 (4 sec)
-- and governed by a requirement that it'd be used in keeping with the laws of armed conflict. 165

Question

Unknown
00:25:30-00:25:46 (16 sec)
So, acknowledging the wide belief and understanding that Hamas has built tunnels underneath a variety of different locations, including hospitals, is the U.S. comfortable in knowing that -- that Israel would or continue to target hospitals in Gaza? 166

John Kirby

Unknown
00:25:46-00:25:51 (5 sec)
I won't speak to specific targets, Peter. I think you can understand why I won't do that. 167

John Kirby

Unknown
00:25:51-00:25:55 (5 sec)
It's not a military operation that we're running or leading. The Israeli Defense Forces are conducting these operations -- 168

Question

Unknown
00:25:55-00:26:00 (4 sec)
So, just as -- that means we're okay with the Israelis making their own decision that could include hospitals, right? 169

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:00-00:26:05 (5 sec)
As -- as I've said before, when you're fighting in urban warfare, you've got to make some tough choices about your targets. 170

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:05-00:26:18 (13 sec)
Something could be a completely legal target, but because the civilian casualty cr- -- count is too high, you -- maybe you don't do it. Maybe you make a policy decision not to do it. These are the kinds of tough decisions that Israeli commanders are going to have to make for themselves. 171

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:18-00:26:23 (4 sec)
We're going to keep urging them to be as discriminant and careful and cautious as possible. 172

Question

Unknown
00:26:23-00:26:23 ( sec)
Thank you. 173

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:26:23-00:26:24 (1 sec)
Go ahead, April. 174

Question

Unknown
00:26:24-00:26:25 (1 sec)
Thank you. Thank you very much. 175

Question

Unknown
00:26:25-00:26:26 (1 sec)
No, I'm sorry. You said -- 176

Question

Unknown
00:26:26-00:26:26 ( sec)
Oh, I'm sorry. 177

Question

Unknown
00:26:26-00:26:27 ( sec)
-- you said April. 178

Question

Unknown
00:26:27-00:26:28 (1 sec)
Okay. Sorry, April. 179

Question

Unknown
00:26:28-00:26:36 (8 sec)
John, going to the military installations that had these drone attacks. You talk about protections. What are the protections that you can tell us about which are -- 180

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:36-00:26:37 ( sec)
I -- 181

Question

Unknown
00:26:37-00:26:44 (7 sec)
Seriously. I mean, because for the United States to have military bases attacked and then military personnel injured -- 182

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:44-00:26:44 ( sec)
Yeah. 183

Question

Unknown
00:26:44-00:26:52 (8 sec)
-- is there also a concern that these attacks can spread beyond Syria and Iraq and here and anywhere else in the world? 184

John Kirby

Unknown
00:26:52-00:27:04 (12 sec)
There's no indication right now that -- that there's specific threats to specific installations throughout the region. 185

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:04-00:27:28 (24 sec)
That said, we do have a sizable force posture in the Middle East beyond Iraq and Syria. And in light of what's been going on the last month, of course the Defense Department is taking a look at that posture and looking at force protection and making adjustments as necessary, depending on where you live in the region and what the -- what the threat level might be. So, I won't speak for our commanders. 186

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:28-00:27:33 (5 sec)
And we never talk about force protection specifically, but we obviously make adjustments as needed. 187

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:33-00:27:57 (24 sec)
And then to your first question -- again, without getting into too much tactical detail about how we attempt to thwart some of these attacks: There are capabilities that we have that -- that permit us to eliminate threats further afield, further away from our bases. And, you know, we -- we employ those as -- as appropriate. 188

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:57-00:28:03 (6 sec)
But that doesn't mean -- and we've seen in just the recent weeks that occasionally attack could get through -- 189

Question

Unknown
00:28:03-00:28:03 ( sec)
Yes. 190

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:03-00:28:05 (2 sec)
-- and get close to a base or even land on a base. 191

Question

Unknown
00:28:05-00:28:11 (7 sec)
So, that protection has to be stepped up? Because as you just said, there's some that have gotten through and this has happened over -- 192

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:11-00:28:12 ( sec)
It -- 193

Question

Unknown
00:28:12-00:28:13 (2 sec)
-- a three-week period over and over. 194

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:13-00:28:20 (7 sec)
Yeah, it's an iterative process, April. We're constantly looking at the threat streams and constantly trying to adjust force protection measures to deal with it the best we can. 195

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:20-00:28:26 (6 sec)
Obviously, in a perfect world, there -- you know, we wouldn't want any attacks on our troops and facilities. 196

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:26-00:28:40 (14 sec)
The -- the next near-perfect world is that you can eliminate these threats before -- you know, [inaudible] you could say, "left of launch" -- right? -- before they're launched. And if -- if you can't do that, then as far away from your people as possible. 197

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:40-00:28:48 (9 sec)
It's -- it's called "layered defense" -- you know, air and missile defense. And the Defense Department is constantly evaluing -- evaluating what -- what that looks like. 198

Question

Unknown
00:28:48-00:29:00 (12 sec)
And last question, on genocide. Let's go to Africa and the Congo. What is the White House doing -- or National Security or State doing about this genocide that's happening in the DRC? 199

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:00-00:29:08 (9 sec)
I -- I'll tell you -- well, I'm going to take your question, because I don't have a lot of context for you on that today. I'll take the question, and we'll get something back to you. 200

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:08-00:29:22 (14 sec)
But, obviously, we're in close touch with African par- -- partners across the continent and mindful of a range of these kinds of security threats. And, certainly, we don't want to see anybody subjected to -- to genocidal intentions or actions by any group. 201

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:22-00:29:25 (3 sec)
But I'll -- let me get back to you with more specifics. 202

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:25-00:29:26 (1 sec)
Anita. 203

Question

Unknown
00:29:26-00:29:36 (10 sec)
Thank you so much. I have a Russia question and then an East Asia question. Starting with Russia, the U.S. and NATO criticized Russia for pulling out of the CFE. This is the conventional arms treaty. 204

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:36-00:29:37 (1 sec)
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 205

Question

Unknown
00:29:37-00:29:41 (3 sec)
And now the U.S. and NATO are pulling out of the CFE. How do you -- 206

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:41-00:29:41 ( sec)
Right. 207

Question

Unknown
00:29:41-00:29:43 (2 sec)
-- square that? How do you justify that? 208

Question

Unknown
00:29:43-00:29:54 (11 sec)
And is it the intention of the U.S. and NATO to use that space to expand the footprint of conventional arms, perhaps in Ukraine or elsewhere on the European continent? 209

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:54-00:30:10 (16 sec)
My goodness, I -- I don't know how we could justify not pulling out of it. And given that the Russians have decided unilaterally to just -- just throw it in the trash heap -- I mean, the -- technically -- not technically -- they actually did violate it when they invaded Ukraine. 210

John Kirby

Unknown
00:30:10-00:30:26 (16 sec)
So, it's disappointing. I wish I could say it was surprising, but it -- but it's not. And they left the United States and our NATO Allies with no choice but to -- but to cease our accommodations and -- and compliance with the -- with the treaty as well. 211

John Kirby

Unknown
00:30:26-00:30:39 (13 sec)
As for future force posture, I certainly won't talk about that from this podium. We'll do what we need to do to make sure we can meet our Article 5 commitments to our NATO Allies. And that -- that could require force posture changes, but I'm not prepared to speak to that today. 212

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:30:39-00:30:40 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Jon. 213

Question

Unknown
00:30:40-00:30:41 (1 sec)
So, on -- 214

Question

Unknown
00:30:41-00:30:41 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 215

Question

Unknown
00:30:41-00:30:43 (2 sec)
-- East Asia. Is it okay on East Asia? 216

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:30:43-00:30:44 (1 sec)