usa this morning.

Écrit par sur 11 mars 2024

Divisions between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu burst out into the open again over the weekend as the two traded barbs in interviews over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

In a Saturday interview with MSNBC, Biden said Netanyahu was “hurting Israel more than helping Israel” in his war on Gaza, adding that he wants “to see a ceasefire” in the context of a deal that also brings back Israeli hostages held there by Hamas.

Biden has for months warned that Israel risks losing international support over mounting civilian casualties in Gaza, where the death toll has passed 31,000.

Netanyahu in response said the American president was wrong in his assessment and fiercely defended his policies in Gaza, especially a looming ground operation into the southernmost city of Rafah that Biden and other world leaders have warned against.

“I don’t know exactly what the president meant, but if he meant by that, that I’m pursuing private policies against the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel then he’s wrong on both counts,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Politico and German media outlet Bild, referring to Biden’s remarks about the prime minister hurting Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden.

How a brief exchange in a call explains the strained Biden-Netanyahu relationship
An estimated 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, which has been under Israeli bombardment for weeks. Crammed into a sprawling tent city packed against the Egyptian border, families there are living with severe shortages of food, water, medicine and shelter, and the daily risk of being killed.

In his Saturday interview, Biden said that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be a red line, before adding in the same breath that crossing it would not result in punitive measures against Israel.

“It is a red line, but I am never going to leave Israel,” Biden said. “The defense of Israel is still critical, so there’s no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons.”

Netanyahu on Sunday said he intends to move forward with the invasion, despite Biden’s warning and regardless of a ceasefire-hostage deal. The operation would not last more than two months, he said, but did not provide specifics on the timeline.

“We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave (Gaza),” Netanyahu said Sunday in an interview with German outlet Axel Springer. “You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is, that October 7 doesn’t happen again.”

Two US officials however told CNN the Biden administration is not anticipating that Israeli forces will imminently expand their military operations into Rafah…The next days…

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