Far-right Israeli minister’s criticism of Biden sparks anger

JERUSALEM (AP) — A far-right minister in Israel’s authorities has criticized President Joe Biden and stated that having Donald Trump in energy would permit extra freedom to struggle Hamas. The feedback sparked outrage amongst different Israeli officers on Sunday and highlighted the sensitivity of relations as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the area once more this week.

The Biden administration has skirted Congress to hurry weapons to Israel and shielded it from worldwide requires a cease-fire within the 4 months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault. But the White House has urged Israel to take higher measures to keep away from harming civilians and permit extra help to besieged Gaza.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s nationwide safety minister, stated in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that Biden was hindering Israel’s battle effort.

“Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel (to Gaza), which goes to Hamas,” Ben-Gvir stated. “If Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different.”

His remarks drew fireplace from Benny Gantz, a retired common and member of Netanyahu’s three-man War Cabinet, who stated Ben-Gvir was “causing tremendous damage” to U.S.-Israeli relations. Opposition chief Yair Lapid, additionally posting on X, stated Ben-Gvir’s remarks show that he “does not understand foreign relations.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned Ben-Gvir’s feedback as “racist” and referred to as for worldwide sanctions in opposition to him, saying he threatens the area’s stability.

Netanyahu, with out mentioning Ben-Gvir by title, appeared to consult with his remarks throughout a weekly Cabinet assembly. “I am not in need of any assistance in navigating our relations with the U.S. and the international community,” he stated.

Ben-Gvir, together with different far-right figures, has referred to as for “voluntary” mass emigration of Palestinians from Gaza and the return of Jewish settlements, which Israel dismantled when it withdrew troops from the territory in 2005. The Biden administration opposes any such state of affairs.

This is a locator map of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. (AP Photo)

Ben-Gvir and different key members of Netanyahu’s governing coalition have threatened to deliver down the federal government in the event that they consider he’s too smooth on Hamas. Netanyahu stated the navy was finishing up “very aggressive raids” in northern and central Gaza whereas coping with remaining Hamas battalions round Gaza’s southernmost metropolis of Rafah.

Israel’s navy stated Sunday it had raided the headquarters of Hamas’ brigade in Khan Younis within the south and located what it referred to as coaching supplies for the Oct. 7 assault together with “models simulating entrance gates of Israeli kibbutzim, military bases and IDF armored vehicles.”

The battle in Gaza has leveled huge swaths of the tiny enclave, displaced 85% of its inhabitants and pushed 1 / 4 of residents to hunger. The Health Ministry in Gaza stated 127 our bodies had been dropped at hospitals within the final 24 hours, bringing the general dying toll to 27,365. The ministry doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants however says most of these killed are girls and youngsters.

In central Gaza, Israeli airstrikes hit two homes and a mosque in Deir al-Balah and killed 22 folks and wounded no less than 60 others together with youngsters, in keeping with an Associated Press journalist on the scene. At Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, a nurse cleaned the top accidents of a boy who sat between two different youngsters, one trembling, the opposite in tears.

Other Palestinians discovered shelter on the hospital however little aid. “Someone like me has been here for three months or two-and-a-half months, and I haven’t had a shower. What can we do? We want to go back to our home,” stated Basemah Al-Haddad, displaced from Gaza City.

Two youngsters had been killed in separate airstrikes in Rafah, in keeping with the registration workplace on the hospital the place the our bodies had been taken. The first hit a home within the Jeneina refugee camp and killed a 12-year-old. The second hit a room west of the Rafah border crossing, killing a 2-year-old.

Palestinians watch a car burn after it was hit by an Israeli in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Palestinians watch a automotive burn after it was hit by an Israeli in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

The our bodies lay on the hospital flooring. A feminine relative bent down to softly contact one youngster’s face.

More humanitarian help to Gaza will probably be a “top priority” as Blinken visits the area, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, Jake Sullivan, instructed CBS. Blinken is about to start Monday in Saudi Arabia and can cease in Egypt, Qatar, Israel and the West Bank.

Another focus is Israel’s tense negotiations mediated by the U.S., Qatar and Egypt aimed toward liberating greater than 100 remaining captives taken within the Oct. 7 assault in return for a cease-fire and the discharge of Palestinians jailed in Israel.

“It’s up to Hamas to come forward and respond to what is a serious proposal,” Sullivan instructed NBC, including there’s no clear concept what number of hostages stay alive.

Hamas and different militants killed some 1,200 folks, largely civilians, within the Oct. 7 assault and kidnapped round 250. More than 100 captives, largely girls and youngsters, had been launched throughout a weeklong cease-fire in November in trade for the discharge of 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Hamas has stated it received’t launch extra hostages till Israel ends its offensive. It additionally calls for the discharge of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Netanyahu has publicly dominated out each calls for.

Hamas is anticipated to reply to the newest cease-fire provide within the coming days.


Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press journalist Wafaa Shurafa in Deir-al-Balah contributed.


Follow AP’s protection of the Israel-Hamas battle at

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