US President Joe Biden reportedly urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their Tuesday phone call to minimize civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip as Israel continues its massive aerial campaign and readies for a potential ground incursion in response to Hamas’s terror onslaught.
While Biden offered full-throated support for Israel in a public address Tuesday that was overwhelmingly welcomed by Jerusalem, he apparently struck a relatively more balanced tone in his call with Netanyahu.
Biden was more direct than in prior calls that the IDF should work to avoid civilian casualties, NBC reports, citing two US officials
Meanwhile, the US is coordinating with Egypt to establish a humanitarian corridor for Palestinian civilians as well as the several hundred US citizens in the Strip to evacuate the coastal enclave, NBC News says.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered a siege of Gaza, including halting the supply of electricity, food and water. The IDF also bombed the Rafah crossing, blocking the only land exit from the coastal enclave to Egypt in what ostensibly would complicate efforts to establish a humanitarian corridor.
Like in the May 2021 Gaza war, Biden appears to be engaging in what was termed as the “arm around Israel” approach, which saw him publicly provide unabashed support for Israel against terror groups in the Strip while taking a more nuanced approach in repeated private phone calls during which he gradually pressed Netanyahu to limit civilian casualties and wind down the IDF’s fighting in Gaza.