Biden Pressure on Israel Not Enough, Say Dissenting US Officials

President Biden’s pressure on Israel after last week’s deadly attack on aid workers did not go far enough and will fail to stem the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to current and former US officials who have spoken to the BBC.

They said internal dissent in government was growing and called for tougher action on arms transfers.

Israel said it would open new aid routes after President Biden threatened to reassess policy following Israeli strikes that killed seven workers from food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK), including a US citizen.

But the tougher line was “too little, too late”, said Annelle Sheline, an official working in human rights who quit the state department in protest a fortnight ago.

She said the White House “could have done this months ago and prevented famine in northern Gaza”.

The US-Israel relationship is currently experiencing its most serious strain in decades, after President Biden’s phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week that amounted to a defining moment in the six-month conflict.

Within hours of Biden’s call, Israel said it would open the Erez crossing in northern Gaza and the port of Ashdod in southern Israel to aid and pledged to drastically improve security coordination with groups delivering assistance to Palestinians.

In a newly aired interview Biden said he believed the Israeli prime minister was making “a mistake” in his handling of Gaza.

Speaking days after the Israeli strike on WCK workers – and before Israel announced the opening of the Erez crossing – he said his ally should “just call for a ceasefire” with Hamas and allow “total access to all food and medicine” for Gaza.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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