Politics

Biden Seemingly Threatens To Condition Aid To Israel If Civilian Casualties Aren’t Addressed

(Photo by MIRIAM ALSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden seemingly threatened to condition aid to Israel during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if civilian casualties within Gaza go unaddressed, according to a White House readout of the call.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke today on the phone for about 30 minutes to discuss the “need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete and measurable steps” to address civilian casualties, according to the White House readout. The White House noted that the country’s policy toward Israel would be determined by its actions following the phone call. (RELATED: ‘Stop It Now’: Jill Biden Tells Her Husband From Behind Closed Doors To Call For End Of Israel-Hamas Conflict: REPORT)

“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. He underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home,” the White House readout said.

The president also called the strikes on the humanitarian workers which killed seven World Central Kitchen volunteers “unacceptable,” the readout said. The New York Times described the call between the two world leaders as “evidently tense.”

Speaking on the phone call, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said during a Thursday press briefing that Biden wants to see Israel take “concrete tangible steps” to address civilian casualties.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) greets US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Biden landed in Israel on October 18, on a solidarity visit following Hamas attacks that have led to major Israeli reprisals. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack leading Israel to declare war on Hamas in Gaza on October 8. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) greets US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Biden landed in Israel on October 18, on a solidarity visit following Hamas attacks that have led to major Israeli reprisals.  (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“What we want to see are some real changes on the Israeli side and, you know, if we don’t see changes from their side there will have to be changes from our side,” Kirby said during the briefing, without going into details on what specific changes Biden wanted to see.

Throughout the Israel-Hamas war, Biden and his administration have pledged support to the country while it fights against the terrorist organization. The president, however, has received pushback from within his own administration and campaign staff over his pro-Israel stance. Biden’s support for Israel has also caused him to face a protest vote in the primary polls. (RELATED: Biden Education Official Tariq Habash Quits In Protest Of President’s Israel Policy)

“He has been courageous on the domestic front,” Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in October. “The president needs to be just as courageous on this issue.”

“I am certainly concerned about his approach to this,” she continued.”I want President Biden to be the next president and he needs to call us to a higher moral place.”

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