The war in Gaza: Biden increasingly irritated, new clash with Netanyahu


By John

Friends-enemies: US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu I'm now on a collision course over the war in Gaza. So much so that the back and forth has become almost daily and no longer concerns only the conduct of the conflict, the post-war prospects in the Strip, but also Netanyahu's own representation within Israel, as recently highlighted by Biden's deputy Kamala Harris. While Hamas, on the eve of Ramadan, once again reiterated its requests for a possible agreement, saying he is open to negotiations but knowing that the following are unacceptable for Israel: a total ceasefire and complete withdrawal from the Strip. The occupant of the White House – with an eye always on the November vote – made his latest thrust in an interview with MSNBC which provoked Netanyahu's immediate, and piqued, response. Biden began by underlining that the prime minister “has the right to defend Israel, the right to continue attacking Hamas.”

But he warned that “more attention must be paid to the innocent lives lost as a result of the actions taken.” “In my opinion it is doing more harm than good to Israel,” she summed up. Even on the announced Israeli military operation in Rafah, in the south of the Strip, Biden made distinctions, defining it for the first time as “a red line” that Israel must not cross. Even if – he added with some contradiction – “he will never leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still fundamental” and he will not lack the weapons he needs to protect himself. However, he was firm on the fact that Israel “cannot allow others 30,000 Palestinians die as a result of the hunt for Hamas.” Netanyahu's reply arrived by return post who, not surprisingly, chose an American site, Politico: Biden “is wrong”, he said, having his office release the text of the interview in Israel. “If he meant to say,” he explained, “that I am pursuing a policy that goes against the majority of Israeli public opinion and that this damages Israel's interests, then that is wrong.” “It's not just my private policy, it's that of the vast majority of Israelis,” she insisted, claiming to have the country's support.

Then, he reiterated that “the last thing” that Israel must do is to “put the Palestinian Authority in charge of Gaza, which educates its children about terrorism and pays for terrorism”. “The majority of Israelis understand that if we do not completely reject the attempt to impose a Palestinian terrorist state on us, we will return to the massacre of October 7”, continued the prime minister, making it clear once again that he does not want to give in to American invitations, and not only , for a two-state solution. What makes the differences between the two leaders even more visible is the reality on the ground where the so far unsuccessful negotiations for the long-awaited truce in Gaza for Ramadan and the release of the hostages are in complete stalemate, even if Egypt does not seem to want to give up the socket. Cairo remains in contact – local security sources assured – with both Hamas and Israel in an attempt to restart talks. The Hamas leader, however, seemed to want to freeze any expectations. While saying he was willing to continue the discussion, he said that to reach the three-phase agreement, with international guarantees, “a total ceasefire, the end of the war in Gaza, the complete withdrawal of the occupation army from all over the world” is needed. territory of the Strip, the return of refugees to their places of residence, the reconstruction of the Strip, humanitarian aid and the end of the siege.” His requests have already been rejected by Israel. On the 156th day of the war, the IDF is still pounding the south of the Strip, especially Khan Yunis. Meanwhile, a US military ship has left Virginia for the Mediterranean to build a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza for humanitarian aid, as ordered by Biden.