Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Israel-US diplomatic spat complicates situation in Gaza

White House officials are "perplexed" and "disappointed" because the Israeli leader canceled a visit to the United States by a delegation that was supposed to discuss Washington's concerns about its plans to invade Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

At the same time, the White House intends to use high-level meetings with the Israeli Defense Minister in Washington to defend its position.

"We are somewhat puzzled by this,", – White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby said, according to the Voice of America.

Kirby admitted that the reason for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's sudden decision was his disagreement with the US decision to abstain from voting in UN on Monday, March 25, on a document calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

"In light of the change in the American position, the Prime Minister… decided to cancel the delegation’s departure", – Netanyahu's office said.

Since the conflict began more than five months ago, the United States has used its veto power to block previous similar calls for a ceasefire, citing Israel's right to self-defense.

&quot ;Our vote does not mean a change in our policy– Kirby stated. – We were very clear. We have been very consistent in maintaining the ceasefire as part of the hostage agreement. This is how the hostage agreement was framed, and the resolution recognizes the ongoing negotiations.”.

At the same time, he also noted, repeating this term no less than six times, that we are talking about a vote at the UN on ” a non-binding resolution.” According to him, this means that “this will not in any way affect Israel and Israel's ability to persecute Hamas.”

While Kirby made the announcement, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant met with President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House.

The same day, Galant met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Kirby said the Israeli minister was also scheduled to meet with Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin on Tuesday. At these meetings, Kirby said, U.S. officials are re-voicing their humanitarian concerns.

Before meeting with Blinken, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller repeated the administration's position that a full-scale invasion of Rafah would be a “mistake.”

“It would be a mistake not only because it would harm civilians, who will be huge– hesaid. – We also believe that such an invasion would weaken Israel's security, making it less secure, not more secure. It will undermine his position in the world.”.

On the eve of Galant's planned meeting with Austin, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder also said that invading Rafah would be a “mistake.”

< em>"[Austin] continues to believe in Israel's inalienable right to self-defense, and we will continue to support them in this regard, and that support is unbreakable."– Ryder said.

"There are ways to combat the Hamas threat that take into account the safety of civilians.", – he added.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

By admin

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