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Apr 4, 2024, 7:11am EDT
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Biden set to speak with Netanyahu amid US fury over strike on humanitarian convoy

Insights from Politico, The Independent, and Haaretz

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden attends a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he visits Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 18, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
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The News

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following an Israeli strike on humanitarian workers this week.

The White House is reportedly furious about the drone strike, which killed seven World Central Kitchen employees including a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen. The Biden administration, however, has continued to affirm its support of Israel, with White House spokesman John Kirby telling reporters that the U.S. is pressing Israel to “do things differently that prevents civilian casualties.”

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Several incidents could have been war’s ‘tipping point,’ but none have stuck

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Haaretz

The White House has shifted its rhetoric on the war in Gaza in the wake of tens of thousands of deaths, an imminent famine, and deadly strikes on refugee camps, Haaretz Washington correspondent Ben Samuels noted. U.S. policy, though, has amounted to the administration’s “version of ‘thoughts and prayers’.” The strike has accelerated humanitarian aid groups’ winding down of their operations in the enclave, and in spite of “pleas from senior U.S. officials for Israel to improve its deconfliction mechanisms to avoid targeting aid convoys,” Samuels wrote. That “should cause significant introspection across the board on failures to get the message to stick.”

Public statement calling for accountability furthest Biden will go

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Politico

Biden’s speech this week placing blame for the strike on Israel will be the most action the president plans to take to address the incident, according to Politico U.S. officials told the outlet that the statement was “all we have planned.” But that lack of action is causing issues within the administration, Politico reported, with some senior officials criticizing the White House’s decision not to leverage the Israeli government to pull back on the war. “It’s just rinse and repeat with the Israelis. The American political system can’t or won’t draw a real line with them and that is regrettable,” another official said.

Biden has offered ‘zero’ consequences for Israeli missteps

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The Independent

In February, Biden drew a “red line” when he warned that if Israel harmed “an American, we will respond,” The Independent’s Washington correspondent Eric Garcia wrote. The administration has called for an investigation into the strikes, but refused to elaborate at a recent press briefing about what such an inquiry would look like. “Biden has offered zero response or consequences for Israel,” Garcia noted, and “has all but created the circumstances that allowed for the World Central Kitchen workers’ deaths.” While the president has publicly upped his criticism of Netanyahu’s government and the Israel Defense Forces, he hasn’t taken “meaningful action” that would address the crisis, he added: “The Israeli government, in turn, will feel no need to exercise more caution in Gaza.”

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