Biden officials deliver a tough message on Gaza to Netanyahu’s chief political foe

Biden officials deliver a tough message on Gaza to Netanyahu’s chief political foe - Business and Finance - News

The Frustration and Urgent Calls for Humanitarian Aid from the Biden Administration to Israel: A Meeting with Benny Gantz

The recent situation in Gaza, which top Biden administration officials have deemed as “unacceptable and unsustainable,” prompted Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief political foe, Benny Gantz. As the US seeks to alleviate the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and increase aid, these calls from the administration have gone largely unheeded.

The Unsanctioned Meeting with Benny Gantz in Washington, D.C.

Gantz’s decision to travel to the United States capital without Israeli government approval for his meetings was a controversial move both within Israel and towards Netanyahu, who maintains a precarious grip on leadership. US officials justified the importance of meeting with Gantz, as he is seen as a potential leading contender to become the next Israeli Prime Minister.

Mounting Frustration and Desperate Situation in Gaza

Frustration is intensifying within the Biden administration due to Israel’s continued refusal to open more land crossings for critically needed aid to reach the people in Gaza. This has led to airdrops of food being used as an alternative means to provide assistance. The situation came to a tragic head last week, with over 100 fatalities occurring during an incident where Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians awaiting a food convoy.

The Biden Administration’s Plea to Israel: Do More to Alleviate the Humanitarian Crisis

During his meetings with Harris and national Website security adviser Jake Sullivan, Gantz was told repeatedly that Israel must take action to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in order to ensure continued robust American support for Israel. The administration’s message was clear: “Help us help you.”

Gantz’s Surprise at the State of US-Israeli Relations and Urgent Need for More Humanitarian Crossings

Gantz expressed concerns and some surprise after the meetings, particularly about the US’s strong criticism of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the potential military offensive into Rafah. The Israeli official also emphasized that Gantz was clear-eyed about the administration’s growing mistrust of Netanyahu.

Addressing Humanitarian Concerns and Reestablishing Trust

To address the administration’s concerns, Gantz assured that Israel would evacuate civilians before any offensive into Rafah. US officials continued their call for additional humanitarian crossings to be opened, emphasizing the urgent need to provide aid as soon as possible.

A Focus on Ceasefire Negotiations

The meetings between Gantz, Harris, and Blinken also touched upon the negotiations to reach an immediate, temporary ceasefire that would secure the release of hostages being held in Gaza.