White House Wants Israel to Dial it Down in Gaza

(IntegrityPress.org) – President Joe Biden wants Israel to tone it down in Gaza according to statements by National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby in a conversation with CBS News.

Kirby suggested that the administration wants Israel to change its focus to “low intensity operations.” Kirby said that during a recent visit in the region with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, both men emphasized that Israel needed to transition from large scale operations and bombing campaigns to small scale interventions with a targeted focus.

Kirby indicated that Israel had already begun to remove some of its troops from Gaza and is dropping fewer bombs. He said that precision strikes and targeted raids should make up the bulk of the coming military actions against Hamas, the ruling Palestinian authority in Gaza.

Kirby hoped that the shift would pressure Hamas leadership into capitulating to ending the conflict. Hamas had previously signaled a readiness to negotiate and blamed Israel for maintaining the bloodshed. They’re now refusing any negotiations that don’t begin with Israeli military forces withdrawing from Gaza.

A previous ceasefire saw the exchange of hostages held in Gaza for Israeli prisoners, many of whom were women and minors at the time of their arrest.

Gazan health authorities are suggesting as many as 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict so far, many of them women and children.

Kirby implied that the recent withdrawal of several thousands of Israeli soldiers was due to U.S. pressure. The Associated Press also reported that the withdrawal was due to efforts by the Biden administration. Israel has suggested that they’ve nearly achieved operational control of northern Gaza where their military efforts have been focused.

Retired Israeli Brigadier General Shlomo Brom also indicated that the change in Israeli policy was likely due to U.S. pressure. He added that the shift doesn’t signal an end to the conflict, merely a new phase.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been embroiled in domestic controversy before his handling of the war was even on the table. He maintains that continued war footing is required to mitigate the ongoing threat to Israel by Hamas and its radical Muslim backers.

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