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US support to Israel war depends on ‘steps to protect civilians,’ says Biden

Biden talking to Netanyahu on Thursday. (Reuters)
Biden talking to Netanyahu on Thursday. (Reuters)
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05 Apr 2024 12:04:01 GMT9
05 Apr 2024 12:04:01 GMT9
  • Senior UK jurists join calls to halt arms sales to Israel
  • Poland outraged over envoy’s remarks

Arab News

JEDDAH: President Joe Biden told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that future US support for Gaza war depends on new steps to protect civilians and aid workers.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke by phone days after Israeli airstrikes killed seven food aid workers in Gaza. “He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the White House said.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

Biden also told Netanyahu that an “immediate ceasefire is essential” and urged Israel to reach deal “without delay,” according to the White House.

The leaders’ conversation comes as the World Central Kitchen, founded by restauranteur José Andrés to provide immediate food relief to disaster-stricken areas, called for an independent investigation into the Israeli strikes.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “We need to have accountability for how it has occurred, and what is not good enough is the statements that have been made, including that this is just a product of war.”

Former President Donald Trump said Israel is “absolutely losing the PR war” and called for a swift resolution to the bloodshed.

Meanwhile, three former Supreme Court justices have joined more than 600 members of the British legal profession in calling for the government to halt arms sales to Israel, saying it could make Britain complicit in genocide in Gaza.

Their call was also backed by two of the country’s leading intelligence experts, who argued that Britain needed to use any leverage it could to persuade Israel and the US to change course in the conflict.

A new diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel has erupted following the death of a Polish aid worker in Gaza.

Israel’s Ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, pushed back at what he said were attempts by the “extreme right and left in Poland” to accuse Israel of “intentional murder in the attack.”

He said on social media that “anti-Semites will always remain anti-Semites, and Israel will remain a democratic Jewish state that fights for its right to exist.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda called the comment “outrageous” and described the ambassador as “the biggest problem for the state of Israel in relations with Poland.”

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