US Engages in High-level Discussions with Israel about Safeguarding Gaza Civilians, Remains Silent on Escalating Conflict
The US has urged Israel to protect civilian lives amidst ongoing conflict in Gaza, although US officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have yet to publicly criticize any aspect of Israel’s current military effort. Communication between the two countries has continued, with President Biden reiterating support for Israel’s right to self-defense but expressing the need to protect civilians and increase humanitarian assistance. Amidst the conflict, there have been widespread issues with connectivity in Gaza, with the US pressuring Israel to restore phone and internet services.
US Communicates Concerns to Israel Over Civilian Lives in Gaza
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan communicated the importance of protecting civilian lives in Gaza to the Israeli government. He avoided criticising Israel’s military effort, leaving the decision-making to them.
Biden and Netanyahu Discuss Aid and Civilian Safety
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the need for increased aid to Gaza, alongside the duty to protect civilians. Biden also highlighted the task of locating hostages held by Hamas.
US Calls for Restored Connectivity in Gaza
The US urged Israel to restore phone and internet service in Gaza, which had been heavily disrupted, leaving civilians and aid groups unable to communicate. Service began to be reinstated gradually on Sunday.
The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
The Israeli assault heightened the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, leaving civilians, including Americans, and aid slow to arrive. Over 200 hostages remain held by Hamas.
Behind the Scenes Conversations
US and Israeli officials, including Biden and Netanyahu, discussed the scope of Israel’s military efforts in Gaza, with Sullivan insisting on Israel’s responsibility to distinguish between terrorists and civilians.
Efforts to Secure Hostage Release
The US works with regional partners to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, a topic previously reported on by CNN. Sullivan blamed Hamas for American civilians’ inability to exit Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.
Israeli Settlers Violence Against Palestinians
Sullivan echoed Biden’s call for Israeli settlers in the West Bank to stop violence against Palestinians, expecting the Israeli government to intervene.
CNN’s Aileen Graf contributed to this report.
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