United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday said Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, needs to change his hardline government, as support for the country’s military campaign is waning amid heavy bombardment of Gaza.
Speaking to Democratic donors in Washington, Biden said Netanyahu had a “tough decision to make.”
“This is the most conservative government in Israel’s history,” Biden said, adding that the Israeli government “doesn’t want a two-state solution.”
Biden said Israel was beginning to lose support around the world, and said Netanyahu “has to strengthen and change” the Israeli government to find a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The remarks amounted to some of Biden’s most candid to date when it comes to his view of the ongoing conflict. He has mostly stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Netanyahu in public, despite mounting criticism of the Israeli campaign.
But some daylight has been emerging between the United States and Israel as the civilian death toll in Gaza climbs.
CNN News reported that in phone calls, Biden has encouraged Netanyahu to do more to avoid civilian casualties, but top administration officials have said there is a “gap” between Israel’s intentions and the realities on the ground.