On Tuesday (13 December), US President Joe Biden cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the world's backing for its war against Hamas could be jeopardized due to the "indiscriminate" airstrikes on Gaza.
In his most straightforward comments since the 7 October terror attack on Israel by Hamas, which triggered the present conflict, Biden informed donors that a shift in Netanyahu's position towards a two-state resolution for the Palestinians is necessary.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, expressed a "disagreement" with Biden regarding the governance of Gaza after the conflict, reflecting a rare rift after weeks in which the US leader has strongly backed Israel.
During a campaign event in Washington, Biden expressed that Israel had the backing of the majority of the world following the attacks by Hamas, in which 1,200 people, most of them civilians, were killed and hundreds were taken hostage.
"But they're starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place," Biden said.
The health ministry in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, reported on Tuesday that Israel's counterattack on the coastal region resulted in over 18,400 casualties, with the majority being civilians.
Previously, Biden had avoided labeling the Israeli bombing as "indiscriminate."
During a news conference later on Tuesday, Biden moderated his remarks to some extent.
He said that the United States has to support Israel in the face of the brutality of October 7, but that "the safety of innocent Palestinians is still of great concern."
He also declared that Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor, will be sent to Israel this week for talks with the war cabinet.
The US president also dismissed arguments that he said Netanyahu had made about Allied forces in World War II having "carpet-bombed" Germany and used nuclear weapons against Japan.
Biden said he had told Netanyahu that the establishment of international institutions post-war was intended to prevent a recurrence of such events.
He also reaffirmed that the United States had made some "mistakes" following the attacks on 11 September 2001, in New York.
Biden then said that Netanyahu had a "tough decision to make" regarding his hard-right government.
"He's a good friend, but I think he has to change, and, with this government, this government in Israel is making it very difficult for him to move," he said.
"They don't want a two-state solution," he said, describing it as the "most conservative government in Israel's history."
The remarks Biden made indicate an increasing divide concerning the aftermath of the war.
The US' proposal for Gaza to be handed over to a bolstered Palestinian Authority has been met with a lukewarm response in Israel.
At present, the West Bank is under the governance of the Palestinian Authority, whereas the Gaza Strip is controlled by the Islamist organization, Hamas.
Netanyahu, on Tuesday, acknowledged a "disagreement" with Biden over their post-Hamas strategies, following a discussion with the US President.
The Israeli premier said he hoped "we will reach agreement here" but he vowed not to "repeat the mistake of Oslo," referring to the 1993 peace accords signed in the United States.
For several weeks, Washington has been urging Israel to exercise greater caution to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza, asserting that the number of Palestinians killed has been excessively high.
There has been a growing call within the United States, particularly from the left faction of the Democratic Party, for Biden to adopt a more assertive approach towards Israel, his ally. Some have even suggested that US military aid should be made conditional.
Biden sounded similar warnings about Israel losing global support during a ceremony at the White House on Monday, to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
"We have to be careful. They have to be careful. The whole world's public opinion can shift overnight, we can't let that happen," he told guests.
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