President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a call Sunday that his military operations should “not proceed” in the Gaza Strip without a “credible” plan, the White House confirmed.
The White House released a press statement Sunday confirming that Biden had spoken with Netanyahu in the morning to reaffirm the U.S.’s “shared goal to see Hamas defeated” and “ensure the long-term security” of the Israeli people. Biden and Netanyahu reportedly discussed the “ongoing efforts” to secure the remaining hostages captured by the Hamas terrorist group. (RELATED: ‘This Conversation Is Over’: Biden Reportedly Hung Up On Netanyahu After Heated Phone Call)
“The President reaffirmed our shared goal to see Hamas defeated and to ensure the long-term security of Israel and its people. The President and the Prime Minister discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas. The President emphasized the need to capitalize on progress made in the negotiations to secure the release of all hostages as soon as possible,” the White House stated.
While Biden affirmed the ongoing efforts between the U.S. and Israel, the president also urged for “specific steps” to be taken in order to protect “innocent Palestinian civilians.” The president reportedly told Netanyahu that Israel should “not proceed” with a “military operation” in Rafah, a city in the Gaza Strip, without having a “credible and executable plan” to ensure that the Palestinian people sheltering there would be safe.
As Democrats have increased pressure on Biden to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, the president reportedly has begun looking at options for recognizing an independent Palestinian state, according to Axios. The recognition of Palestine’s independence would reportedly be to help normalize relations between Israel and other Middle East Arab nations.