US President Joe Biden and administration officials have encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials to wind down the bombardment of Gaza, AP reports, citing a person with knowledge of the discussions.
US encouraging Israel to wind down Gaza offensive
STEPANAKERT, MAY 19, ARTSAKHPRESS: Top Biden administration officials underscored to the Israelis on Monday and Tuesday that time is not on their side in terms of international objections to nine days of Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rockets, and that it is in their interest to wind down the operations soon, according to the official, who was not authorized to comment publicly on the private talks and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The account shows Biden administration officials going further privately in messaging to Netanyahu than they have previously revealed. A White House readout of a Biden call to Netanyahu on Monday said Biden had expressed support for a cease-fire, but said nothing about the U.S. urging Israel to bring fighting to a close.
The fighting has killed at least 213 Palestinians and 12 people in Israel, and tested both Biden’s reluctance to publicly criticize Israel and his administration’s determination not to bog down its foreign policy focus in Middle East hot spots.