Netanyahu blasts Schumer's call for Israel elections as pressure on Biden grows over Gaza

Netanyahu blasts Schumer's call for Israel elections as pressure on Biden grows over Gaza
The Israeli premier insisted that Israel should pursue its brutal war as it wills, despite growing US pressure over Gaza.
3 min read
18 March, 2024
Chuck Schumer criticised Netanyahu despite being a staunch supporter of Israel [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised remarks by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling for elections in Israel as "totally inappropriate".

Speaking in the Senate, Schumer - known as a staunch supporter of Israel - slammed Netanyahu as a "major obstacle" to peace.

Netanyahu hit back in an interview with CNN on Sunday. "We're not a banana republic," Netanyahu told CNN's "State of the Union" show.

"I think the only government that we should be working on to bring down now is the terrorist tyranny in Gaza, the Hamas tyranny that murdered over a thousand Israelis," he added.

The Israeli premier continued to insist that Israel will pursue the war as it wills. Over 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children have been killed in Israel's brutal and indiscriminate military campaign and the territory has been completely devastated, with hospitals, schools, and residential areas destroyed.

Schumer's remarks reflected growing pressure on US President Joe Biden to take a harder line with Israel over its conduct in Gaza.

Last week, eight US senators signed a letter urging President Biden to stop military assistance to Israel over its restrictions on the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

The letter warned the Biden administration that Israel is violating the Foreign Assistance Act by prohibiting or restricting the entry of US humanitarian aid into Gaza, saying that this should prompt Washington into halting arms sales to its longtime ally, The Guardian reported.

Democratic senator Chris Van Hollen said the Biden administration needs to "push harder and to use all the levers of US policy" to guarantee that "people don’t die of starvation" in the enclave.

"The very fact that the United States is airlifting humanitarian supplies and is now going to be opening a temporary port is a symptom of the larger problem, which is [that] the Netanyahu government has restricted the amount of aid coming into Gaza and the safe distribution of aid within Gaza," he said.

Vice-President Kamala Harris recently called for "an immediate ceasefire" in the Palestinian territory.

The US however has staunchly stood by Israel throughout the war, and has provided at least $1 billion in military aid since October.


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US officials have said that they are concerned over the civilian death toll but have given no indication that arms shipments to Israel will cease.

Last week, US officials denied claims that Washington had begun to slow down shipments to Israel in an apparent attempt to exert influence.

An unnamed senior official who spoke to ABC News said that arms shipments were arriving at a slower place than at the beginning of the assault in October. The official added that the Israeli army is in need of 155 mm artillery shells and 120 mm tanks shells, as well as guidance equipment.

Several senior US officials, including White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby, denied that military aid to Tel Aviv had been slowed.

"I'm not gonna get into the timeline for every individual system that's being provided," Kirby told ABC News. "We continue to support Israel with their self-defence needs. That's not going to change, and we have been very, very direct about that."