The Biden administration reportedly turned on Israel in a recent private meeting, warning that the country does not have “the credit” to keep the war going for months, the Times of Israel reported.
The outlet cited “leaked remarks” from the meeting, which were originally published in Hebrew translation by Israeli outlet Channel 12 and back-translated into English by the Times.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly met with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief Herzi Halevi and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday, telling the officials that the IDF must not attack the southern part of Gaza, where two million Palestinian civilians are located, the same way it invaded the northern part of the strip, according to the Times of Israel. The officials reportedly told Blinken that the whole country is willing to wage a prolonged war to destroy Hamas, the outlet reported. (RELATED: ‘He Blew It’: Jewish Groups Hammer Biden While White House Pushes Islamophobia Scare After Hamas Attack)
“The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months,” Gallant told Blinken, according to the Times of Israel.
“I don’t think you have the credit for that,” Blinken responded, per the outlet.
Since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, murdering some 1,400 Israelis and taking nearly 250 hostage, President Joe Biden and his administration have committed to supporting Israel during its war against the terrorist organization. Biden said in October that Hamas must be eliminated and called for a two state solution, Reuters reported.
According to Israeli Channel 12, Blinken got into confrontations with Israeli ministers. He said, “The way you fought in the North cannot be repeated in the South. There are two million Palestinians there.” He also said, “the war cannot go on for months. You have weeks.”
— Shaiel Ben-Ephraim (@academic_la) November 30, 2023
Blinken’s apparent warning to the IDF about the length of its war appears to be a shift in the Biden administration’s position. Biden reportedly called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to express similar concerns about how the country plans to fight in southern Gaza, Axios reported. (RELATED: Biden Has Reportedly Been Taking Shots At Obama Amid Israel Backlash)
During his meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, Blinken reportedly didn’t ask for the ground invasion to halt but warned that the longer the war drags on, the more international pressure will mount against the United States and Israel, according to Axios, which cited three unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. Blinken also allegedly asked the officials to take measures that will limit the number of Palestinian civilian casualties during the upcoming battle in the south, the outlet reported.
“I made clear that the amount of civilian casualties we had in the north can’t repeat itself in the south. Intent matters but results are also important,” Blinken said during a Thursday press conference.