Wednesday 15 November 2023 - 20:39

US Frustration with “Israel” Grows as Gaza Civilian Deaths Mount

Story Code : 1095956
US Frustration with “Israel” Grows as Gaza Civilian Deaths Mount
Administration officials are having what they describe as more difficult conversations with their “Israeli” counterparts as the US tries to shape the conflict — only to have the apartheid “Israeli” entity ignore them, according to several people familiar with the conversations who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.

They said the administration has ramped up its private messaging to the "Israeli" entity as impatience has grown. At the same time, the administration is still fulfilling the "Israeli" entity’s weapons requests, and so far hasn’t threatened any consequences against its key partner in the region.

The tense conversations highlight the risks of the Biden administration strategy, which has rested in large part on the idea that a close public embrace of “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would open space behind the scenes to deliver tough messages and shape the entity’s conduct of the war.

But that has proven a difficult balance as the “Israeli” entity steps up its campaign against Hamas and the civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to more than 11,000 people, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The US administration has also come under growing pressure from Arab allies, who argue that the Biden administration’s embrace has given Netanyahu a green light to proceed.

At the same time, Netanyahu has so far swept aside US concerns about Americans who remain captive in Gaza and the hundreds of Palestinian-Americans who haven’t been able to leave the territory, people familiar with the matter said.

“If your action plan is basically ‘there were 30,000 Hamas fighters, we’re going to kill them all and yes, there will be blood and damage, we’re sorry for that’ – that’s worrisome,” said Brian Katulis, vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute in Washington. “That produces a humanitarian crisis inside of Gaza, that produces threats to the US citizens who still haven’t gotten out, and it probably escalates tension across the region.”

Some of the strain has centered on the “Israeli” entity’s campaign on the Shifa hospital in Gaza, which US and “Israeli” officials agree allegedly hides a major Hamas headquarters. Although the Biden administration concurs that the “Israeli” entity needs to root out Hamas, the fear is that the entity isn’t doing enough to protect civilians trapped inside. On Monday, President Joe Biden said Shifa “must be protected”.

On Tuesday night, the “Israeli” entity appeared to defy that warning, with the military saying troops were “carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas” in the hospital.

Another sore spot is the future of the Gaza Strip, and Netanyahu’s shift from saying the entity doesn’t want to occupy the area again to vowing that “Israeli” occupation forces will remain there indefinitely.

The officials said the US has been cautioning over and over that the apartheid “Israeli” regime needs to protect civilians. When the US asked what happened when the “Israeli” entity hit a refugee camp, the “Israeli” response was almost dismissive, with its leaders saying their objective had been achieved, the officials said.

The “Israeli” regime response is tinged with impatience and accusations of hypocrisy, with officials insisting that the US continues not to understand the trauma coming out of the Hamas Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on Oct. 7 and the devastation that was wrought, according to the American officials.

“Israeli” officials declined to comment on the conversations.

Now, the US has started to make its private anger with the “Israeli” entity more public. Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “far too many Palestinians have been killed.”

Biden has let some of his frustrations show too. On Monday, he told reporters he had “not been reluctant expressing my concerns” around fighting at Gaza hospitals. Last Thursday, Biden said the effort to implement humanitarian pauses in the fighting had “taken a little longer than I hoped”.

Part of the growing US impatience is driven by pressure from other partners, especially in the Arab world. Some leaders believe that Biden’s embrace of Netanyahu – and his meeting with the war cabinet – on his visit to the “Israeli” entity last month gave the green light to the campaign that’s now unfolding.

“There’s just tremendous frustration with the United States and what many see as a lack of credibility for the Biden administration,” said Karen Young, a senior researcher at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. “It’s going to take a long time to restore a sense of trust.”

Amid the concern, the US has pressed ahead with financial and military support for the entity, including by providing some of the weapons that “Israel” has used in its bombing campaign. That includes 155mm artillery shells that have drawn protests from aid groups for their poor accuracy.

“For the last 50 years, ‘Israeli’ wars have ended because the United States stepped in and said, ‘it’s time to stop,”’ said Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for International and Strategic Studies. “We’re certainly not at that point, but we’re closer to that point than we were when the president went to Jerusalem [al-Quds].”