April 22, 2024

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Biden rebukes Israel and says he is “angry” over the killing of aid workers in Gaza | News of the Israeli war on Gaza

Biden rebukes Israel and says he is “angry” over the killing of aid workers in Gaza |  News of the Israeli war on Gaza

The US President has delivered some of his strongest criticism of Israel yet after seven aid workers were killed in an Israeli air strike.

US President Joe Biden said he was “angry and saddened” by Israel's killing of seven aid workers in Gaza, directing some of his strongest criticism yet at the close US ally.

Biden's rebuke is the latest example of his mixed messages on the war, as his administration has become increasingly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government even as the need to supply weapons to Israel has doubled.

In a statement issued by the White House on Tuesday evening, Biden directly accused Israel of not doing enough to protect innocent civilians in its war against Hamas.

“This conflict has been one of the worst conflicts in recent memory in terms of the number of aid workers killed. This is the main reason why it is so difficult to distribute humanitarian aid in Gaza — because Israel has not done enough to protect the aid workers who are trying to provide the aid they are,” Biden said. “Civilians desperately need it,” describing the deceased relief workers as “brave and selfless.”

“Incidents like the one that occurred yesterday should not happen. Israel has not done enough to protect civilians. The United States has repeatedly urged Israel not to confuse its military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties.

Biden said that the investigation that Israel promised to conduct into the incident “must be quick, must lead to accountability, and its results must be made public.”

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He added: “The United States will continue to do everything in its power to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, through all available means.”

“I will continue to pressure Israel to do more to facilitate this aid. We are pushing hard for an immediate ceasefire as part of the hostage deal. “I have a team in Cairo working on this now.”

The seven workers at the US-based World Central Kitchen organization were killed on Monday night when the convoy they were traveling in was attacked after unloading food aid in the central Gaza city of Deir al-Balah.

A dual US-Canadian citizen, an Australian, a Polish, a Palestinian, and three UK citizens were killed in the attack.

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu acknowledged Israel's responsibility for the attack, describing it as unintentional and “tragic.”

“Unfortunately, last day a tragic event occurred in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said in a video statement on Tuesday.

“This happens in war. We are conducting a comprehensive investigation and communicating with governments. We will do everything to prevent this from happening again.”

Despite his insistence that Israel must protect civilians, Biden has continued to push for more weapons to be delivered to Israel, including $18 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets.

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Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, Biden has greenlighted two emergency arms shipments to Israel worth more than $250 million, in addition to the regular military aid allocations worth $3.8 billion annually.

Biden's handling of the war has led to increasingly negative reactions from progressives, human rights activists, and Arab and Muslim Americans, raising concerns about his November re-election bid within Democratic Party circles.

The White House on Tuesday canceled a scheduled Ramadan iftar after many Muslim Americans declined the invitation in protest of Biden's support for Israel, Al Jazeera reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The sources, who spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said that the cancellation came after members of the Muslim community warned their leaders against attending the event.