The United States plays the “pressure card” on Israel to reduce the intensity of the Gaza war

In recent days, the United States has begun “pressuring” Israel to enter a less intense phase in Israel’s war against the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza, with US President Joe Biden calling on Israel to “focus on saving civilian lives.” “

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan also discussed with Israeli officials the issue of halting and reducing the intensity of “high-intensity” military operations in the Gaza Strip, according to a White House statement on Thursday.

The newspaper reportedNew York Times”, on Friday, given the growing international pressure, the “cards” Washington has and can use to pressure Israel to comply with these demands, which was demonstrated when the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution requiring Israel to comply with these demands. The most obvious. Gaza ceasefire, no one objects. Only 10 countries.

The American newspaper quoted Dov Waxman, a professor of Israel studies at the University of California, as saying: “We have seen a shift from behind-the-scenes pressure by the U.S. government to the current pressure… more public calls and leaks,” he said Adding: “It is clear that the US government’s patience is running out.

Billions of dollars in aid

The New York Times noted that the United States has “several strategies” to pressure Israel into changing its war methods, but explained that these strategies would impose “diplomatic and political costs” on President Biden.

According to the newspaper, one way to apply pressure is to “impose conditions on funds provided to Israel,” since Israel receives about $3.8 billion a year from the United States under a security deal dating back to the days of Barack Obama. equal to approximately 15% of the budget. Israel’s defense.

Israel’s use of the funds to purchase large quantities of weapons or ammunition must be approved by the U.S. State Department, so the government can find ways to prevent or slow down the weapons arriving in Israel, the newspaper reported.

Most U.S. arms sales are also subject to Washington’s conditions. For example, Ukraine is prohibited from launching U.S.-made missiles in Russia. Therefore, according to the New York Times, Biden could use the same approach to prevent the use of American bombs in densely populated residential areas of the Gaza Strip.

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But the moves could pit Biden against and at odds with the pro-Israel lobby that has supported Biden for years.

The newspaper quoted a senior U.S. government official as saying that “tying U.S. aid to certain conditions is not part of Washington’s current strategy.”

political pressure

The New York Times stated that “Israel has always needed U.S. support to supply its forces, including weapons and ammunition, in addition to building a protective shield against possible international pressures like the one it faces in Israel. The pressure is the same.” United Nations. “

The United States used its veto at the United Nations Security Council last week to block a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The newspaper noted that the United States “could decide not to use the veto.”

Biden could also put “political pressure” on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, given the US president’s continued calls for the need to work towards a two-state solution.

“It’s clear that he (Biden) can make things more difficult for Netanyahu domestically and within the government by being more clear and candid about these criticisms,” Waxman told the New York Times. But he added: “I don’t think Biden wants a public confrontation with Netanyahu.”

On Tuesday, Biden warned Israel that it was on the verge of losing global support for Hamas’ war due to its “indiscriminate” bombing of the Gaza Strip.

At an election rally in Washington, Biden delivered his harshest criticism of the Israeli prime minister since the war broke out on Oct. 7, saying Netanyahu should “change” his stance on a two-state solution, calling on him to change Hard line government.

Netanyahu admitted that he and Biden had “differences” over how the Gaza Strip should be governed after the current war.

closed-door diplomacy

The New York Times reported that Biden’s strategy has been to fully support Israel’s right to self-defense, but he has been “privately” criticizing it.

U.S. officials said the president and his advisers relied on “closed-door diplomacy” to encourage Israel to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, restore communications, work on negotiations to release hostages and reduce civilian deaths during military operations.

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The newspaper also noted that Israel’s decision to open the Kerem Shalom land crossing with the Gaza Strip to bring in humanitarian aid was the largest agreement reached through intense diplomacy.

But Waxman said this strategy “doesn’t always work.” In terms of operations in the war itself, “their influence appears to be less,” he said, referring to Washington.

On Friday, Israel announced it would allow the first shipment of aid into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, a move welcomed by the White House.

A statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said the move would help Israel fulfill its commitment to allow in 200 rescue trucks per day, a commitment reached as part of the hostage deal reached and implemented last month.

Commenting on the move in a statement following his visit to Israel, Sullivan said the United States “welcomes” Israel’s decision to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza for humanitarian aid.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. officials as saying that Sullivan “urged Israeli leaders to shift from reliance on airstrikes and ground attacks in Gaza to targeted military action” and warned that a protracted conflict “will make the war more difficult.” It will be difficult to govern the Palestinian territories.”

In a separate report, the New York Times quoted four unidentified U.S. officials as saying that “Biden wants Israel to shift to a more precise strategy in about three weeks.”

The timeline, which U.S. officials have made clear to their Israeli counterparts in recent days, is the administration’s “latest step-by-step step,” declaring that U.S. patience with mass civilian deaths is “beginning to run out,” the newspaper reported.

On October 7, Hamas (listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and other countries) launched an attack on Israel, killing 1,200 people, most of them civilians, including women and children. According to Israeli authorities, approximately 240 hostages were taken to the Gaza Strip.

Since then, Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 18,000 people, mostly children and women, according to the Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Health.

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