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Biden-Netanyahu First Meeting Following The Deaths Of Aid Workers: U.S. Policy For Israel Might Change!

President Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu engaged in a 30-minute phone call on Thursday, marking their first conversation since March 18. The readout of their talk showcases President Biden’s frustration over Israel’s approach to the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza. He asked for an immediate ceasefire and threatened to condition support in the future.

Seven aid workers in Gaza were killed by an Israeli airstrike on Monday. One of the deceased volunteers was a U.S. citizen. This has sparked outrage among U.S. civilians as well as the President himself. He called the incident “outrageous and heartbreaking.” The agenda of the Thursday phone call was to demand answers for the killing of innocent aid workers. However, Netanyahu labeled the tragic incident as a “misidentification of the target.”

Stressing the need to take more action to protect civilians, Biden said, "Even more tragically, this is not a standalone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult — because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians. Incidents of Day simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians."

 The two presidents also engaged in discussions regarding Israel’s plan to invade Rafah, a southern Gaza city. As Netanyahu stated his willingness to greenlight a military operation in Rafah, President Biden urged for a “specific, measurable, and concrete” plan to protect innocent civilians before Israel starts the operation.

The current president even threatened to cut supplies of weapons if Israel’s military behavior in Gaza further extends the humanitarian crisis. This is the first warning the United States has given to Israel’s offensive in Gaza that started on October 7 and could possibly change the dynamics of the war.

 The white house has made its stance clear in respect of Gaza as President Biden has been facing non-stop backlash from civilians and mounting pressure from fellow democrats to enable an immediate ceasefire. U.S. support for Israel now depends on the latter’s approach to stabilizing the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

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