Biden tells Netanyahu to de-escalate tensions with Hamas

Biden Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden has told Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu he expects to see a significant de-escalation in its conflict with Hamas today that has so far claimed the lives of 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis, including 65 children since the conflict began more than a week ago.

In what will be seen as Biden’s toughest public pressure on the US ally so far, the White House confirmed the president asked Mr Netanyahu in a telephone call to move toward “the path to a ceasefire”.

Pressure has been mounting on Biden too, as the death toll in the conflict has now topped 200 and as Israeli fighter jets continued to pummel the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday, flattening residential buildings and killing at least four Palestinians, including a journalist.

Biden reportedly signs off on $735M arms sale to Israel

As per story, the Biden administration has approved a $735 million weaponry sale to Israel in the midst of Tel Aviv’s ongoing attack on the Gaza Strip. 

According to the Washington Post, the decision to accept the transaction was taken on May 5, approximately a week before the rising violence began. However, the decision came amid rising international condemnation of Israel’s planned displacement of Palestinian inhabitants from an East Jerusalem neighbourhood and repeated raids on Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. 

As the casualty toll from Israel’s Gaza assault continues to increase, several members of US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, notably Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, have expressed objections to the sale, which is primarily made up of Joint Direct Attack Munitions. 

The deal should not be concluded “when crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing,” Omar stated shortly after the story was posted. 

“It would be disgraceful for the Biden Administration to hand over $735 million in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu with no constraints attached in the aftermath of growing violence and attacks on people,” she said in a statement. 

“If this passes, it will be perceived as a green light for further violence, undermining any efforts to broker a ceasefire,” Omar added. 

As per the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed at least 212 Palestinians, including 61 children, since last week. During the Israeli assault, more than 11,305 individuals were injured, and dozens of buildings were demolished or destroyed. 

In addition, 12 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza. 

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