Tensions Rising Between Israel and US over Gaza Conflict as Netanyahu Cancels Visit to Washington

Netanyahu cancels Israeli delegation to US over abstention on Gaza ceasefire at UN

After the United States abstained from the UN Security Council vote on a ceasefire resolution in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a visit to Washington by two of his closest advisors, National Security Advisor Tzaji Hanegbi and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer. The delegation was scheduled to explore alternatives to an invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Netanyahu’s office criticized the abstention, stating that it gives Hamas hope that international pressure will force Israel to accept a ceasefire without the release of hostages, thus undermining efforts both in war and to free the hostages. The decision not to invite Hanegbi and Dermer reflects growing tensions between Israel and the US over the best course of action in Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is still expected to visit Washington next week to meet with US defense officials and discuss alternatives to defeating Hamas that do not have major consequences for civilians. Gallant will also discuss arms deliveries from the US and the preservation of Israel’s qualitative military advantage.

The Biden Administration is opposed to a major ground operation in Rafah, stating that it would cause more deaths of innocent civilians, worsen the humanitarian crisis, and isolate Israel internationally. Instead, Washington has proposed alternative approaches to target key Hamas elements in Rafah without escalating the conflict. Netanyahu’s decision reflects his growing frustration with Biden’s approach towards Israel and its handling of Gaza conflict.

The White House is concerned about the impact of a major military operation on civilians in Gaza as well as its implications for regional stability and international relations. Biden and Netanyahu have expressed differing views on how to address the situation in Gaza, with Netanyahu advocating for a more aggressive approach while Biden advocates for a more cautious one. The situation remains tense as both sides continue their efforts to find a resolution.

Sophia Reynolds

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