Joe Biden administration’s has reportedly increased pressure on Netanyahu over his rejection of a post-war Gaza proposal presented by the U.S. last week
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there is no military solution to Hamas in Gaza on Wednesday as Washington’s frustration towards the Israeli premier mounts, NBC reported, citing anonymous officials.
The report detailed the Joe Biden administration’s increased pressure on Netanyahu over his rejection of a post-war Gaza proposal presented by the U.S. last week, as the war entered its 100th day.
Israel has killed 24,448 Palestinians in Gaza while wounding 61,504 others since launching the genocidal war on October 7.
Despite Israel citing its goal as eliminating Hamas in Gaza to justify its war, the occupation has targeted civilian structures, while 70% of those killed have been women and children.
Blinken’s proposal was the result of Blinken’s diplomatic tour between January 4 and 11 — which included regional countries Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.
The proposal included “a commitment” from four Arab leaders and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, over Gaza’s reconstruction and a new Palestinian government in the Strip, officials told NBC.
Saudi Arabia also showed a willingness to normalise with Israel as part of the reconstruction agreement, a move that would add it to the Gulf normalising nations, including the UAE and Bahrain.
A key part of the deal is that Netanyahu agrees to provide Palestinians with “a pathway” for a Palestinian state, an offer that Netanyahu rejected, the officials added.
Netanyahu, however, only agreed to one part entailing that Israel would not attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, where escalations have been on the rise.
The Israeli prime minister’s rejection prompted Washington to go with a plan past Netanyahu, three senior U.S. officials told NBC, noting that he “will not be there forever.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Blinken said, “There’s a profound opportunity for regionalisation in the Middle East, in the greater Middle East.”
“The challenge is realising it,” Blinken said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
When asked if Netanyahu is capable of seizing the so-called opportunity, Blinken said, “These are decisions for Israelis to make.”
Meanwhile, a source privy to the discussions between Blinken and Netanyahu said he’d “be careful about assuming that Israel will scuttle the deal.”
The U.S. and Israel have been under growing global pressure to halt the war in Gaza as both repeatedly reject all attempts at reaching a lasting ceasefire. The two countries have supported pauses instead, to release captives from Hamas.
On Monday, South African lawyers prepared a lawsuit against the U.S. and the United Kingdom, accusing them of complicity in Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. South African lawyer Wikus Van Rensburg told Anadolu Agency at the time that Washington needed to be held responsible for endorsing the genocidal war.