WORLD NEWS

Joe Biden tells Israel to protect aid workers and reach Gaza ceasefire

President Joe Biden

Future US support for Gaza war depends on new steps to protect civilians and aid workers.

President Joe Biden told Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that future US support for Gaza war depends on new steps to protect civilians and aid workers.

Mr Biden and Mr Netanyahu spoke by phone days after Israeli airstrikes killed seven food aid workers in Gaza and added a new layer of complication in the leaders’ increasingly strained relationship.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the White House said in a statement following the leaders’ call.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

Mr Biden in the call also told Netanyahu that an “immediate ceasefire is essential” and urged Israel to reach deal “without delay,” according to the White House.

The leaders conversation comes as the World Central Kitchen, founded by restauranteur Jose Andres to provide immediate food relief to disaster-stricken areas, called for an independent investigation into the Israeli strikes that killed the group’s staff members, including an American citizen.

The White House has said the US has no plans to conduct its own investigation even as they called on Israel to do more to prevent the killing and wounding innocent civilians and aid workers as it carries out its operations in Gaza.

The war in Gaza began on October 7, when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage.

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