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Biden Demands ‘Immediate Ceasefire’ from Netanyahu in Phone Call

  President Joe Biden demanded an “immediate ceasefire” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Thursday between t...


President Joe Biden demanded an “immediate ceasefire” from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Thursday between the two leaders, threatening a loss of U.S. support for the war if Israel does not comply.

In a statement, the White House said:

President Biden spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The two leaders discussed the situation in Gaza. President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable. 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. 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 two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israeli people. President Biden made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats.

Biden’s statement confirms that the U.S. has effectively adopted Hamas’s demand that a ceasefire precede a deal to release the remaining 130 or so Israeli hostages. The U.S. previously agreed with Israel that a ceasefire depended on a deal.

Last month, when the U.S. abstained from United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728, allowing it to pass, the Biden administration denied it had changed its policy, though the resolution detached a hostage deal from a ceasefire.

In a press briefing, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby would not state what the consequences would be, specifically, if Israel did not make the changes Biden had demanded.

Kirby said that the accidental killing of seven World Central Kitchen workers in an airstrike earlier in the week was one of the more important factors in pushing Biden toward the demand for a ceasefire, which he had long resisted.

The effect of Biden’s demand is that Israel will find it extremely difficult to achieve its war goals. If it chooses to pursue the last Hamas battalions in Rafah, it will do so without U.S. support. And if it tries to reach a hostage deal, Israel will have to do so without the leverage of U.S. support for continued military operations against Hamas in Gaza.

Hamas’s strategy throughout the war has been to separate Israel from U.S. support. It has done so by using Palestinian civilians as human shields, hoping to maximize civilian casualties and generate international outrage.

Biden’s demand marks the success of Hamas’s strategy — unless Israel is willing to continue the war in Gaza alone.

Meanwhile, in Israel, the country prepared for possible reprisal attacks from Iran, after an Israeli airstrike in Syria killed two Iranian generals earlier in the week. Iran arms and funds terrorist proxies that have been attacking Israel.

When Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Kirby whether Biden’s support for Israel’s war against Hamas was “unwavering,” as Biden had promised after October 7, Kirby struggled to reconcile that promise with the threat of policy changes.

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