Biden urges Netanyahu on cease-fire , warns of change in US policy

  United States (US) President, Joe Biden

on Thursday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toward a cease-fire deal that would release the remaining hostages in Gaza,  suggesting that U.S. policy on the war will depend on Israel’s ability to better protect civilians and humanitarian workers after a deadly attack that killed a contingent of international aid workers this week.

 He spoke with Netanyahu days after an Israeli strike killed several humanitarian aid workers with World Central Kitchen, a charity group that was distributing food to Palestinians in Gaza. 

The White House said in a readout of the call that Biden told Netanyahu the incident was “unacceptable.”

 “He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.

“He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

 Pix- Isreali ‘s Prime Minister Netanyahu( L) US Biden (R)

The White House said Biden “underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home.” 

The White House has for weeks been pressing for a cease-fire that would last at least six weeks and allow hostages to get out of Gaza and allow humanitarian aid into the region. 

The prospect of a shift in U.S. policy toward the Israel-Hamas conflict, which was set off last October after Hamas killed thousands of Israelis in a terrorist attack, is significant and marks a notable change from Biden and his team. Officials as recently as Tuesday were downplaying the idea that the strike that killed World Central Kitchen workers would lead to a change in U.S. support for Israel. .

The administration has called for Israel to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident. “

 National security spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday that they’re still under a viable threat of Hamas.

“We’re still going to make sure they can defend themselves and the 7th of October doesn’t happen again. That doesn’t mean that it’s a free pass that we look the other way when something like this happens,” he said..

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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