WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Saturday pressed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protect civilian population in the Gaza Strip, the White House said, as Israel mounted new brutal attacks in the territory.
The telephonic talks came as the Palestinian health ministry said that the death toll in Gaza has reached at least 20,258 people, mostly women and children, due to ongoing relentless Israeli attacks since October 7. The statement added that in the past 24 hours alone, 201 Palestinians have been killed, and 368 others injured in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement, the White House said that Biden emphasized the serious need to protect the civilians including those supporting the humanitarian help operation, and the significance of allowing civilian population to move safely away from areas of the current war.
Biden Presses Israeli PM on Protecting Civilian Population in Gaza: White House
The US President told reporters at the White House earlier today that he had a “long discussion” with Netanyahu but did not ask for a truce.
Earlier, Friday’s much-delayed UN resolution approved following days of diplomatic backbiting, and evaded a US veto only by sidestepping a call for a truce in the Gaza Strip. Both Washington and Moscow abstained on the measure. Similarly, in a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Israel of deliberately escalating massacres to disrupt the implementation of the recent UN Security Council resolution aimed at boosting aid to the Strip.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said a “humanitarian truce” is the only way for help “to be effectively delivered.” According to the UN, war has displaced around 1.9 million of Gaza’s 2.4 million population.
According to Western media, in the days following the October 7 attack against Israel, US President Joe Biden had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to nix a planned preemptive attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon, adding that the step would likely ignite a regional conflict.