Despite admonitions from Biden for a cease-fire, Israel is still banging the Gaza Strip with airstrikes. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also declared on Thursday that they will “continue to do so.”
In response to Hamas missiles indiscriminately fired at Israelis, Israel declared that they will continue to hammer Gaza with airstrikes. These remarks were made by the Israeli Prime Minister despite warnings from Biden for a cease-fire.
President Biden spoke to Israeli PM Netanyahu this AM for the 4th time since the fighting started – said he expects a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire.
— Debra Alfarone (@DebraAlfarone) May 19, 2021
On Wednesday, Biden had a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The President called for “significant de-escalation today on a path to a cease-fire.” The call was made amid reports that Israel and Palestine were close to a potential cease-fire agreement.
However, on Thursday, Israel Defense Forces increased its charges against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces then wrote in a tweet that over the past 11 days, Hamas has fired missiles at all Israeli citizens indiscriminately. They added that in response to this, they have been targeting the “source” of terrorism is Gaza. And they will continue to do so.
Israel: “Determined to Continue This Operation until its Aim is Met.”
Netanyahu said he “greatly appreciates the support of the American president,” but said Israel will push ahead “to return the calm and security to you, citizens of Israel.”
He said he is “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.” https://t.co/inUuIbsaL9
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) May 19, 2021
Meanwhile, Netanyahu appeared to create a distance between Biden’s stance and his.
The Prime Minister stated that he greatly appreciates the support of Biden. However, he said that Israel will continue to bring back “calm and security” to the citizens of Israel. He also added that he is “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.”
Israel has been reacting to missile attacks from Hamas with strategies of its own. This includes airstrikes aimed at key Hamas Military complexes.
Yet, the state faced criticism for the 200 plus Palestinians killed as a result of the airstrikes. Including among them were children and women. Airstrikes were also dropped on a media building. Although the IDF claimed that it was being used by Hamas, with media outlets being used as cover.
Serious Test for Biden Early in His Presidency
The ongoing violence in the middle east is a serious test of the relationship that Biden has with the Israeli Prime Minister early in his presidency. In addition to this, Biden is also facing immense pressure from the left-wing of his Democratic Party, which is profoundly critical of Israel.
For instance, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) presented a resolution opposing the arms sale between the U.S. and Israel. They also labeled Netanyahu as an “extremist.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is trying to hold off United Nations from officially calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price stated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Thursday. Price stated that Blinken reinforced the message that the United States expects to see: the “de-escalation on the path to a ceasefire.”
In response to this, Ashkenazi tweeted, thanking Blinken for the “full backing” of the United States for Israel’s “right to defend its citizens.”