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Biden warns Netanyahu that US will change policy on Gaza could change

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Biden warns Netanyahu that US will change policy on Gaza could change

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President Biden warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that U.S. policy in Gaza could change if the Israeli military doesn’t do more to improve the humanitarian situation.

During a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Thursday, Biden stressed that Israel’s strikes on “humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable,” according to a White House readout of the call.

The same sentiment was echoed later Thursday by both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby, with Blinken telling reporters that the U.S. would shift gears “if we don’t see the changes that we need to see,” according to a report from the Jerusalem Post.

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Biden and Netanyahu split image

This combination photo shows President Joe Biden, left, on March 8, 2024, in Wallingford, Pa., and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. (AP Photo)

Meanwhile, Kirby warned that the changes in Israeli policy needed to change within “hours and days” and that the administration was expecting an announcement soon from Israel.

“The President made very clear his concerns and the prime minister acknowledged those concerns,” Kirby said.

According to the White House readout of the call, Biden stressed the need for an “immediate ceasefire,” arguing such a move would be “essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians.”

Haiti-Gaza-Famine

Palestinians crowd together as they wait for food distribution in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 8, 2023.

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The 30-minute call came after seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen were killed by Israeli airstrikes this week, adding to growing concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza as Israel’s siege on the small strip of land has continued for over five months.

The two leaders also discussed Iranian threats against Israel, with the White House stressing that Biden “made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats.”

Famine-Gaza

Palestinians rush to collect the humanitarian aid airdropped into Gaza City, Gaza Strip, on Sunday, March 17, 2024.

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Nevertheless, Kirby stressed the need for Israel to change how it is approaching the current invasion.

“What we want to see are some real changes on the Israeli side,” Kirby said. “And if we don’t see changes from their side, there will have to be changes from our side.” 

All this comes as a Times of Israel report on Thursday claimed Hamas appeared to reject an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire proposal. 

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