Washington, United States: According to the White House, US President Joe Biden promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the military confrontation with Palestinians will be “much reduced” on Wednesday.
“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” according to a statement released after what the White House said was the two leaders’ fourth call since the crisis began.
The declaration signaled a shift in the White House’s public tone toward the close US partner.
However, Biden made no mention of how he meant “substantial” in his appeal to halt Israel’s bombing of Gaza, which Israel claims is aimed at Hamas militants.
Karine Jean-Pierre, a spokeswoman for the White House, would not indicate what the response would be if nothing changed on Wednesday.
According to Gaza officials, Israeli strikes on the packed enclave have killed at least 213 people, including 61 children, since May 10. Hamas rockets have murdered twelve persons in Israel.
Biden has so far refrained from joining the worldwide clamor calling for an immediate cease-fire in Israel, stating only that he supports a cease-fire. Israel is a close ally of the United States, and Biden has gone out of his way to defend Netanyahu’s claim that the country’s powerful military is acting in self-defense.
The White House said the two leaders discussed “Israel’s progress in diminishing the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist forces, as well as continued diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States” in a statement released following the recent phone chat.
Much of Biden’s own Democratic Party is pressuring him to take a harsher stance. The White House claims it does not want to cause a public split with Israel, but secret conversations imply it has taken a more critical stance.
“Our approach is to make sure we do this quietly, intensively, in a diplomatic way,” Jean-Pierre said.
Biden was told by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the first woman of Palestinian heritage elected to Congress, that Palestinians needed protection from Israel during a visit to Dearborn, Michigan on Tuesday.
Demonstrators flocked to the streets during Biden’s visit to a local Ford auto facility since Dearborn is almost 50% Arab-American.
Biden mentioned Tlaib in a speech about the electric car sector at the facility and said he was praying for her family in the West Bank territories.