Biden says indiscriminate bombing of Gaza costs Israel support

President Biden on Tuesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war on Hamas in Gaza, Israel’s closest ally and biggest donor engaged in a campaign that has killed thousands of Palestinians and caused a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Biden told supporters that the “indiscriminate bombing that goes on” has begun to erode Israel’s support around the world.

“Bibi has to make a tough decision,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. “I think he has to change, and with this government, this government in Israel is making it very difficult for him to move.”

The remarks, delivered at a fundraiser in Washington, stood out as the most direct language the president has used to address his Israeli counterpart. Biden and Netanyahu, who have known each other for decades, have expressed increasingly divergent views on the conflict in recent days.

The Biden administration has been increasingly vocal in its concern about the human toll of the war, which has killed at least 18,412 people over two months, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The mounting civilian casualties have angered administration officials, who have pushed for another humanitarian pause to allow the release of Israeli hostages and more aid to the besieged region.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has rejected several US proposals. Earlier on Tuesday, he said there was disagreement about “the day after Hamas,” but he believed it could be worked out.

Netanyahu, under pressure from Israel’s right wing, has pushed back against US calls to bring Gaza under the control of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority after the war.

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“I want to make my position clear: I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistakes of Oslo,” the US-brokered peace accords of the 1990s. “After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow those who educate terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism to enter Gaza.”

On Monday, Netanyahu told lawmakers that Gaza would remain “under Israeli military control” and that its civilian government would be “rehabilitated under the leadership of the Gulf states.”

“We will not give in to international pressure,” he said.

The current hostilities erupted on October 7, when Hamas and its allied fighters withdrew from Gaza, killing more than 1,200 people in Israel and taking another 240 hostages to Nkileh. Israel has responded with a military campaign that commanders say will eliminate the militant group as a political and military force.

America is increasingly isolated in supporting that campaign.

UN General Assembly, meeting in Emergency session On Tuesday, it voted for a second time demanding a ceasefire. The measure received the support of 153 UN member states – 32 more than supported a similar measure in October. The US joined Israel in opposing eight other members on Tuesday; 23 members abstained.

The UN General Assembly voted on December 12 to call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The United States was one of 10 countries that voted against the resolution. (Video: Reuters)

There was a session Claimed by Egypt and Mauritania After the US vetoed a ceasefire resolution last week with majority support in the Security Council.

Israel says the ceasefire will allow Hamas to regroup and launch more deadly attacks on Israelis. But as the Israel Defense Forces continue to wage war, world leaders and aid officials are sounding increasingly dire warnings about conditions for civilians and a lack of aid.

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Israeli officials said Tuesday they opened a second station to screen aid to Gaza, at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the enclave’s southeastern corner. They have said That would help them double the amount of goods they allow into the Strip. But they will not enter Kerem Shalom. The IDF said it was doing all it could to help It continues to be sent through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

In southern Gaza, food and supplies are scarce and expensive. “Tens of thousands of people are waiting and the delivery is very slow,” said Wissam Sabba, a 41-year-old resident of Rafah. He said he waited at the United Nations distribution center for three bags of flour on Monday and Tuesday.

“There was nothing but bread to feed the family,” he said. “Fighting more than anything else in the South for food and basic necessities.”

Witnesses said the strikes took place early Tuesday near Rafah, where many Palestinians have fled.

Wael Harb, 49, told The Washington Post that residents of the al-Zuhur area, about a mile north of Rafah, were awakened by the sound of three explosions that targeted four houses around 3 a.m. He said the force of the explosions threw bodies onto the roofs of nearby houses.

Conditions in northern Gaza, the initial focus of Israel’s war on Hamas, have become increasingly dangerous for aid workers trying to help civilians. World Health Organization said A medical vehicle en route to Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was stopped and shot at twice on Tuesday.

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The convoy distributed trauma and surgical supplies to treat 1,500 patients and transferred 19 critically ill patients with 14 companions to a hospital in southern Gaza, the WHO said. Health workers were temporarily detained and interrogated, WHO said; “They saw one of them forced to his knees at gunpoint and then led out of sight, where he was allegedly harassed, beaten, stripped and searched.”

WHO did not identify who carried out the alleged shootings, detentions and raids. The Post could not independently verify the claims.

Doctors Without Borders said One of their surgeons was wounded on Monday by gunfire outside Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, where Israel is conducting ground operations.

“The reports coming out of Al-Awda Hospital are distressing and we are very concerned about the safety of the patients and staff inside,” said MSF Country Director Renzo Frick. “Al-Awda is a functioning hospital with medical staff and many vulnerable patients.”

Karen Deung, Frances Vinal and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.

Correction

An earlier version of this story said 33 more UN member states supported the call for a ceasefire in Tuesday’s vote than in October. The October vote count was 121, or 32 less than Tuesday’s vote. This version has been corrected.

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