White House urges Israel to ease Gaza offensive within ‘weeks’ – but Netanyahu vows relentless pursuit until Hamas is ‘eliminated’

White House urges Israel to ease Gaza offensive within ‘weeks’ – but Netanyahu vows relentless pursuit until Hamas is ‘eliminated’

Title: Diplomatic Urgency: U.S. Calls for De-escalation in Gaza

Meeting in Tel Aviv: Sullivan Urges Netanyahu to Shift to Low-Intensity Campaign

In a high-stakes diplomatic encounter, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser to President Joe Biden, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The urgent message delivered by Sullivan was clear: Israel must transition from its high-intensity assault on Hamas in Gaza within weeks, not months.

This demand comes amidst growing concerns from aid agencies about the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Biden Backs the Call for Caution

President Biden reiterated Sullivan’s message, urging Israel to exercise greater caution in its military operations.

The U.S. administration emphasizes the need for a timely shift to a lower intensity phase while acknowledging the campaign’s necessity.

The call is not a strict deadline, but a plea for a strategic transition that would prioritize minimizing civilian casualties.

Netanyahu’s Resolve and U.S. Worries

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed unwavering determination, asserting that the war would persist until Hamas was eliminated.

However, reports suggest growing U.S. concerns about the impact of Israel’s high-intensity bombing campaign on efforts to secure the release of hostages.

President Biden emphasized the importance of focusing on saving civilian lives while continuing operations against Hamas with increased precision.

Ongoing Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis

The conflict, initiated by Israel on October 7 in response to a devastating Hamas terrorist assault, has escalated concerns from aid agencies.

Reports indicate a staggering death toll, with Hamas-controlled health agencies claiming 18,000 casualties.

Amidst this, Israel maintained heavy bombardment, prompting calls for a shift in strategy to address the pressing humanitarian crisis.

Transitioning to Lower Intensity Operations

In the aftermath of Sullivan’s meeting with Netanyahu, discussions revolved around the timetable for transitioning to a lower intensity campaign.

The U.S. envisions a phase focusing on ‘high-value targets and intelligence-driven raids.’ While Israel insists that the U.S. is not dictating policy, the Biden administration’s stance has recently toughened, reflecting a shift in strategy.

Biden Administration’s Firm Stance

Despite Biden’s longstanding friendship with Netanyahu, key lieutenants have issued stern warnings.

Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the need for Israel to abide by international humanitarian law, expressing concern over civilian casualties.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned of potential strategic defeat if civilian populations are radicalized, underscoring the delicate balance in the ongoing conflict.

Harris Advocates Tougher Stance

In a recent development, Vice President Harris has been urging President Biden to take a more assertive stance on Israel and advocate more forcefully for the civilians of Gaza.

The evolving dynamics underscore the challenges faced by the Biden administration as it navigates a delicate diplomatic path in a region engulfed by conflict.