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Call planned between Biden and Netanyahu, three days after the deaths of humanitarian workers in Gaza

U.S. leaders Joe Biden and Israeli leaders Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to speak by telephone on Thursday, three days after an Israeli strike killed ;eacute; foreign humanitarians Gaza, further cracking relations between Washington and its ally.

“President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak tomorrow,” an American official told AFP on Wednesday evening, confirming press reports.

< p>The last conversation between the two leaders dates back to March 18, in an already tense context faced with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory subject to incessant bombardments for almost six months.

Relations have become even more tense since then, with Washington having allowed the vote by the UN Security Council at the end of March of a resolution calling for an “immediate ceasefire” rejected by Israel.

The death in an Israeli strike on Monday of seven humanitarian workers from the NGO World Central Kitchen based in the United States and supplying the starving Gazan population, further increased American discontent.

Mr. Biden publicly expressed “indignation” at the strike and said Israel was not doing “enough” to protect volunteers helping the civilian population in Gaza.

< p>– Mea culpa –

The remains of the six Westerners (an Australian, a Pole, an American-Canadian and three British), who were killed along with a Palestinian humanitarian, were transferred on Wednesday to Egypt, where they were handed over to representatives of their respective countries.

Call planned between Biden and Netanyahu, three days after the deaths of humanitarian workers in Gaza

Ambulances, carrying the remains of humanitarian workers from the American NGO World Central Kitchen, arrive at the Rafah crossing point with Egypt, in the south of the Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024 © AFP – SAID KHATIB

The Israeli army made its mea culpa, its chief of staff Herzi Halevi recognizing “a serious error” which “should not have happened”.

Mr. Netanyahu, for his part, spoke of a “tragic” strike, without however showing any intention of influencing the course of operations in Gaza, where he vowed to neutralize Hamas after the attack perpetrated by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7.

The Israeli leader, however, finds himself subject to increased pressure from his own public opinion and faces repeated demonstrations from opponents and angry families of hostages .

On Wednesday evening, opposition leader Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet and Mr. Netanyahu's main rival, called for early legislative elections in September, endorsed by the Democratic majority leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer.

Since the Hamas attack on October 7, Joe Biden has offered unwavering support for Israel's offensive in the small Palestinian territory.

– Pressure on Biden –

But the 81-year-old Democrat, who will seek re-election in November, faces ever-increasing calls urgent to respond to the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in early March, 55% of Americans now disapprove of the Israeli military operation , compared to 45% last November.

Mr. Biden has so far refused to impose conditions on American military aid to Israel, and demands that any ceasefire be linked to the release of hostages still held in the small Palestinian territory.

Call planned between Biden and Netanyahu, three days after the deaths of humanitarian workers in Gaza

A man pushes a bicycle through the ruins around the al-Chifa hospital neighborhood in Gaza on April 3, 2024. © AFP – –

The Hamas attack on October 7 in southern Israel left 1,170 dead, mainly civilians, according to a new AFP count based on official data. According to Israel, more than 250 people were kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died, in Gaza.

Israeli operations carried out in Gaza in reprisals have left at least 32,975 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Since the start of the war, 196 humanitarian workers have been killed in Gaza, including 175 from the UN, according to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who continues to call for a ceasefire.

– “Worse than catastrophic” –

Returning from a mission to Gaza, Dominic Allen, representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), judged the situation “worse than catastrophic” in the territory where humanitarian aid, strictly controlled by Israel, is not between only a dropper.

“Deliveries of flour are delayed and there is a shortage (…) There is also a shortage of vegetables, meat and other essential products such as legumes, lentils and chickpeas,” a Gaza City resident who came to try to collect food and who did not give his name told AFP on Wednesday.

“We sleep in the streets, in the cold, on the sand, enduring hardships to provide food for our families, especially our young children,” said testified another Gazawi.

Call planned between Biden and Netanyahu, three days after the deaths of humanitarian workers in Gaza

Palestinian children in a corridor at al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024 © AFP – –

Following the strike it suffered on Monday, World Central Kitchen, which provided daily meals to Gaza, announced that it was suspending its operations, further increasing fears for the food situation of some 2, 4 million inhabitants.

Following this announcement, a second boat loaded with humanitarian aid returned to Cyprus, from where it had left, while he had reached the coast of Gaza, according to the Vesselfinder website.

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimated that the Israeli strike against the seven members of the The organization had “the characteristics of a precision airstrike, indicating that the Israeli army intended to strike these vehicles.”

According to the point daily Thursday morning from the Hamas Ministry of Health, which reported strikes in particular on Khan Younès, Wadi al Salqa, Deir el Balah, and Rafah, Israeli operations left 61 dead in the last 24 hours.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116