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Biden and Netanyahu’s First Conversation in a Month Amid Growing Discord

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone Monday, marking their first known interaction in over a month amidst escalating tensions over the conflict in Gaza.

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties

During their conversation, the leaders delved into two crucial areas of contention in their relationship. These included the urgent need to facilitate the entry of more humanitarian aid into Gaza and Israel’s impending operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinian civilians seek shelter.

Addressing Concerns

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, highlighted the president’s “deep concerns” regarding Israel’s plans for the Rafah operation. Emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach, Biden urged Netanyahu to send a senior military delegation to Washington to explore alternative strategies to counter Hamas in Rafah. Netanyahu agreed to dispatch such a delegation, with the meeting likely to take place at the end of the current week or early next week.

Integrating Military and Humanitarian Efforts

Sullivan underscored the necessity of intertwining military, humanitarian, and political plans for successful outcomes. He emphasized President Biden’s insistence that ongoing military operations must align with a clear strategic end game. Sullivan pointed out the alarming number of civilian casualties in Gaza and the prevailing chaos in certain areas of the strip.

Netanyahu’s Assurance

In a statement following the call, Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to achieving its objectives in Gaza while ensuring the provision of essential humanitarian aid. He outlined the goals of the war, including the elimination of Hamas, the release of Israeli hostages, and the guarantee that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel.

Political Dynamics

The phone call between Biden and Netanyahu occurred shortly after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for new elections in Israel, advocating for Netanyahu’s removal from office. While Biden viewed Schumer’s remarks positively, he refrained from explicitly endorsing or condemning the call for new elections.

Deteriorating Relationship

The relationship between Biden and Netanyahu has strained over recent months, primarily due to the White House’s frustration with what American officials perceive as Netanyahu’s disregard for US counsel regarding the Gaza conflict. The frequency of their communication has notably decreased since the conflict’s onset, with their last conversation preceding Monday’s call occurring on February 15.

Challenges and Perspectives

Tensions have arisen regarding the influx of humanitarian aid into Gaza, measures to mitigate civilian casualties, and the prospects for a future Palestinian state. Netanyahu expressed concerns over various issues raised in the American media during the call.

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Emphasis on Policy

Sullivan emphasized Biden’s focus on policy and strategy rather than political considerations. He highlighted Biden’s concerns regarding the potential consequences of major military operations in Rafah, stressing the imperative of protecting civilians and heeding Egypt’s apprehensions.

Biden Pursuit of Ceasefire

Biden and Netanyahu discussed negotiations for an immediate ceasefire, coupled with the release of hostages held by Hamas and other militants. While efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire have faced challenges, Sullivan reiterated the urgency of the matter and pledged to continue pressing for a resolution.

Commitment to Collaboration

Sullivan affirmed the commitment of both leaders to maintain close communication in the coming days and weeks. He emphasized the ongoing collaboration between the US and Israel in addressing every aspect of the crisis.

Allen

Allen holds a Master's degree in English Literature and boasts seven years of experience as a content writer. Specializing in Entertainment, Sports, and the latest news, he excels in crafting compelling narratives that captivate audiences. Allen's expertise in language and storytelling ensures that his content is both informative and engaging.

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