Biden says Israel losing support over 'indiscriminate bombing' of Gaza

Biden says Israel losing support over 'indiscriminate bombing' of Gaza
Biden says Israel losing support over 'indiscriminate bombing' of Gaza

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing" of Gaza, speaking out in unusually strong language as the United Nations neared a vote on demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

“Israel's security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting them,” Biden said to donors during a fundraiser Tuesday.

“They’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” Biden said.

The president said he thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understood, but he wasn't so sure about the Israeli war cabinet. Israeli forces were carrying out punishing strikes across Gaza, crushing Palestinians in homes as the military presses ahead with an offensive that officials say could go on for weeks or months.

The president offered a harder-than-usual assessment of Israel's decisions since the October 7 attack by Hamas and the moves by his conservative government. Biden's top national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, heads to Israel this week to consult directly.

Biden specifically called out Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of a far-right Israeli party and the minister of national security in Netanyahu’s governing coalition, who opposes a two-state solution and has called for Israel to reassert control over all of the West Bank and Gaza. Ben-Gvir sits on Israel’s security cabinet but is not a member of the country’s three-person war cabinet.

The president also renewed his warnings that Israel should not make the same mistakes of overreaction that the US did following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

He recounted a familiar anecdote about inscribing on a photo with Netanyahu decades ago, “Bibi, I don't agree with a damn thing you have to say.” This time, the president added to his retelling of the story: “That remains to be the case.”

Israel pressed ahead Tuesday with an offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers that it says could go on for weeks or months -- despite global calls for a ceasefire amid the fast-rising death toll of Palestinian civilians.

A non-binding vote at the United Nations later on Tuesday is likely to show how widespread support for a ceasefire actually is and highlight the increasingly isolated position of Israel and the United States on the world stage.

More than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, around two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory.

About 90% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced within the besieged territory, where United Nations agencies say there is no safe place to flee. With only a trickle of humanitarian aid reaching a small portion of Gaza, residents face severe shortages of food, water and other basic goods.

Israel says 97 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 240 hostages.

Qatar, which has played a key mediating role, says efforts to stop the war and have all hostages released will continue, but a willingness to discuss a cease-fire is fading.

The Israeli military claimed on Tuesday that Hamas is at "its breaking point" as violent clashes push civilians into increasingly dire humanitarian conditions. — Euronews

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