Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told President Joe Biden on Sunday that Israel has no choice but to commence a ground invasion of Gaza, three Israeli and U.S. sources briefed on the call told Axios.
Following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, the country’s military mobilized 300,000 reserve troops on Monday, according to The Associated Press. During a conversation between Netanyahu and Biden on Sunday, the president brought up the issue of Israeli hostages in Gaza, sources told Axios.
“We have to go in. We can’t negotiate now,” Netanyahu told Biden, according to the outlet.
Biden did not make any attempt to discourage Netanyahu from invading Gaza, Axios reported, citing the unnamed sources. The prime minister reportedly told Biden that Israel has no choice but to respond with force because “a country can’t show weakness in the Middle East,” per Axios.
“We need to restore deterrence,” Netanyahu told Biden, the outlet reported, citing the sources briefed on the call.
Hamas launched 2,200 rockets in the first few hours of its attacks on Israel, according to The New York Times, and sent fighters into southern Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds of Israeli civilians and taking others hostage.
At least 700 Israelis are dead and thousands are wounded, with the death toll expected to rise, ABC News reported. At least nine American citizens were also killed in the Hamas attack, according to CNN.
In a brief Saturday address, Biden denounced the Hamas attacks, describing his administration’s support for Israel as “rock solid and unwavering.” (RELATED: The US Is Moving Hundreds Of Thousands Of Ammo Rounds Out Of Israel To Support Ukraine)
The Pentagon, under the direction of the president, announced Sunday that it would be transferring security assistance, including ammunition, to the Israel Defense Forces. The Pentagon is also sending its largest aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean in an effort to back Israel during its war with Hamas.
Biden came under fire for hosting a barbeque on Sunday evening as Israel reeled from the unexpected attack. Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures blasted the president’s decision to throw a party while American citizens were being murdered by terrorists.
“This is fucking infuriating,” Stephen Miller, contributing editor for The Spectator World, tweeted Sunday. “Americans are dead and being held hostage. Biden went to a BBQ and Blinken is begging Turkey to tell Israel to stand down.”