Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overrules joe Biden and continued to hit the Gaza Strip with airstrikes Thursday despite Biden calling for a ‘significant de-escalation’ leading to a ‘cease-fire.’ Biden made this ask personally to Netanyahu which makes the snub all the more remarkable.
Netanyahu said he “greatly appreciates the support of the American president” but said he will snub Biden anyway and said Israel will do what it wants until they have “returned the calm and security to you, citizens of Israel.” He said he is “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.”
“Jews. Muslims. Christians. Druze. Over the last 11 days, Hamas has fired rockets indiscriminately at all Israeli citizens,” the Israel Defense Forces said. “In response, we have been precisely targeting the source of terrorism in Gaza—and we will continue to do so.”
President Joe Biden has become increasingly impatient with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a blunt phone call Wednesday in which the US President set a deadline for violence to ease between Israel and Hamas.
The call, in which Biden made clear he expected a ceasefire soon, was more “direct, frank and candid” than any of their previous conversations since the President took office, according to a senior administration official. And Biden — who has a relationship with Netanyahu that stretches back decades — did not hold back, the official added.
It was the two leaders’ fourth phone call in a week as violence intensified between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. The White House has used progressively more urgent language to describe each conversation, even as officials described a diplomatic effort focused more on behind-the-scenes pressure than public cajoling.
Biden, who’s been viewed as a firm supporter of Israel for his entire political career, has come under pressure from members of his own party to speak out more forcefully against Israel’s actions.
In their conversation early Wednesday, Biden wanted Netanyahu to take his stern warning seriously, given he had quietly waited days to deliver it, several people familiar with the matter said. Part of Biden’s calculus in remaining quiet publicly had been a worry Netanyahu would ignore public demands to de-escalate — a scenario that appeared to play out in the hours after the call.
From Fox News:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., introduced a resolution disapproving of an arms sale between the U.S. and Israel, and attacked Netanyahu as an “extremist.”
“You cannot claim to support human rights and peace on Earth and continue to back the extremist Netanyahu regime, it’s that simple,” Tlaib said.
Meanwhile, Biden’s administration has been holding off the United Nations from officially calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, using its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to prevent the resolution that would be a major rebuke to the longstanding U.S. ally.
Republicans and some Democrats in the United States are supportive of Israel, however, noting the difference in tactics between the two entities – they say Hamas is firing rockets indiscriminately at civilians and Israel is taking pains to save civilian lives even as Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
“They aren’t at war with the Palestinian people. They’re fighting Hamas, a terrorist group that opposes a two-state solution; that wants Israel destroyed,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week.
Jews.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 20, 2021
Over the last 11 days, Hamas has fired rockets indiscriminately at all Israeli citizens.
In response, we have been precisely targeting the source of terrorism in Gaza—and we will continue to do so.
JUST IN – Israel's Netanyahu: The true backer of much of this aggression is Iran. They provide financing and weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah. They sent an armed drone to Israel from Iraq or Syria.pic.twitter.com/RjI9eSnwLz— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) May 20, 2021
In response to the continuing rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, we just struck 2 Hamas terror tunnels under construction and a military tunnel entrance located inside a building in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/7Gs13DYNzG— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 20, 2021