By Enyichukwu Enemanna
US President Joe Biden has expressed concern that Israel is beginning to lose global support because of what he described as “indiscriminate bombing” of the Gaza Strip in the quest to pound Hamas militants.
Biden stated this on Tuesday at a campaign fundraiser in Washington, D.C., in what appears to be a u-turn in his tone, weeks after demonstrating unwavering support for Israel’s campaign in Gaza.
Since the war broke out after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israeli territory, this is Biden’s most critical comment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict.
“Israel’s security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting them,” Biden told the group of donors at a Washington hotel.
“They’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place.”
The United Nations, citing the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, says more than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched waves of airstrikes and ground offensives in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.
More than 50,000 Gazans have been wounded in the attacks, the UN says, which have created a humanitarian crisis.
Later on Tuesday, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to demand an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza and the immediate release of all hostages.
The vote in the 193-member world body was 153 in favour, 10 against and 23 abstentions, stronger support than an earlier ceasefire resolution received in October.
Canada voted in favour of the non-binding resolution Tuesday, while the U.S. voted against it, less than a week after it vetoed a ceasefire motion in the UN Security Council.
Biden supported a week-long pause in hostilities late last month but has also avoided calling for a ceasefire.
He traveled to Tel Aviv shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and embraced Netanyahu while pledging continued U.S. support for Israel.
Yet in his remarks Tuesday, Biden noted that the Israeli government was “the most conservative government in Israel’s history.”
He specifically called out Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of a far-right Israeli party who opposes a two-state solution and has called for Israel to reassert control over all of the West Bank and Gaza.