Israel bombs Gaza as rift with US grows

Israel bombs Gaza as rift with US grows
Israel bombs Gaza on Thursday as rift with US grows, as international pressures to exercise restraint grow
2 min read
14 December, 2023

Israel bombed Gaza on Thursday as a top White House advisor was due to arrive in Jerusalem with a rift growing over US calls for its ally to exercise restraint.

The war, now in its third month, began after the October 7 attacks on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas that Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

It has left besieged Gaza in ruins, killing more than 18,600 people, mostly women and children, according to the  health ministry, and devastating homes, roads, schools and hospitals.

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The ministry said Israeli air strikes early Thursday had killed at least 19 people across the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, which has also seen a surge in violence since 7 October, the Palestinian Authority said two people were killed in Israeli strikes in the city of Jenin.

US President Joe Biden, whose government has provided billions of dollars in military aid to Israel, on Wednesday gave his sharpest rebuke of the war yet, saying Israel's "indiscriminate bombing" of Gaza was weakening international support.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on his offensive, vowing "we are going until the end, until victory, nothing less than that".

And Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the war against Hamas would continue "with or without international support".

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On Thursday, Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was due to arrive in Jerusalem for talks with Netanyahu and his war cabinet.

Sullivan told a Wall Street Journal event ahead of his trip he would discuss a timetable to end the war and urge Israeli leaders "to move to a different phase from the kind of high-intensity operations that we see today".

Netanyahu has said there is also "disagreement" with Washington over how a post-conflict Gaza would be governed.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday "any arrangement in Gaza or in the Palestinian cause without Hamas or the resistance factions is a delusion".

He said Hamas was ready for talks that could lead to a "political path that secures the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital".