April 23rd, 2024

Biden tells Israel’s Netanyahu future US support for war depends on new steps to protect civilians

By Aamer Madhani And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press on April 4, 2024.

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. Biden and Netanyahu spoke Monday, March 18, in their first interaction in more than a month as the divide has grown between allies over food crisis in Gaza, conduct of war. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that future U.S. support for Gaza war depends on new steps to protect civilians and aid workers.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke by phone days after Israeli airstrikes killed seven food aid workers in Gaza and added a new layer of complication in the leaders’ increasingly strained relationship.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the White House said in a statement following the leaders call. “He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps

The leaders conversation comes as World Central Kitche n, founded by restauranteur José Andrés to provide immediate food relief to disaster-stricken areas, called for an independent investigation into the Israeli strikes that killed the group’s staff members, including an American citizen.

The White House has said the U.S. has no plans to conduct its own investigation even as they called on Israel to do more to prevent the killing and wounding innocent civilians and aid workers as it carries out its operations in Gaza.

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