'Heartbreaking' says Biden, but means little as Israel continues deadly military offensive in Gaza

Despite Biden’s supposed frustrations, Al Jazeera quoting analysts say, the US president’s comments behind closed doors mean little if he remains unwilling to exert pressure on Israel to end its deadly military offensive in Gaza.
Palestinian family sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday, Feb 12, 2024.
Palestinian family sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah on Monday, Feb 12, 2024.(Photo | AP)

"Every innocent life [lost] in Gaza is a tragedy, just as every innocent life lost in Israel is a tragedy as well. We pray for those lives taken — both Israeli and Palestinian — and for the grieving families left behind, said US President Joe Biden after meeting King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Over four months ago, on October the 7th, Hamas attacked Israel in an act of sheer evil, massacring more than 1,200 innocent women, men, and children — the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, Biden recalled, according to a statement issued by the White House.

"More than 250 hostages were taken. A hundred and thirty-four are still being held hostage by Hamas," Biden said adding that he has made it clear that United States shares the goal of seeing Hamas defeated and ensuring long-term security for Israel and its people.

However, Biden noted that the past four months, as the war has raged, the Palestinian people have also suffered unimaginable pain and loss. Too many — too many of the over 27,000 Palestinians killed in this conflict have been innocent civilians and children, including thousands of children. And hundreds of thousands have no access to food, water, or other basic services.

Many families have lost not just one but many relatives and cannot mourn for them or even bury them because it’s not safe to do so. "It’s heart-breaking," Biden said.

'Joe Biden is frustrated with Israel'

That is what unnamed sources have been telling media outlets in the United States, as the president faces widespread condemnation over his support for Israel’s war in Gaza, Al Jazeera reports.

But as Israel presses on with its military campaign, Biden is nearing “a breach” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Washington Post said on Sunday. And he has increasingly voiced anger towards the far-right Israeli leader, even calling him an a**hole on a few recent occasions, NBC News reported on Monday morning.

Yet, despite Biden’s supposed frustrations, analysts say the US president’s comments behind closed doors mean little if he remains unwilling to exert pressure on Israel to end its deadly military offensive in Gaza.

“For anyone with even a shred of conscience, Israel’s war should elicit frustration and anger. But in Biden’s case, it has not yet forced him to issue an absolutely necessary call for a ceasefire that can spare Palestinian lives,” said Imad Harb, the director of research and analysis at the Arab Cente Washington DC.

“Unfortunately, and despite the fact that the United States has many tools of pressure that it can use to change Israel’s policies and behavior, it is Israel that is in the driver’s seat,” he told Al Jazeera in an email.

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