Sat 06 Apr 2024 11:40 pm - Jerusalem Time

Lapid to Washington amid disagreements over the Gaza war

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid will head to Washington on Saturday to hold talks with senior officials, in light of reports of escalating tension between the US administration and the Israeli government regarding Israel's management of the war in the Gaza Strip.

Lapid is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other officials, according to what his party (There is a Future) said on the X platform.

Lapid will also meet with Democratic Majority Leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, who last month called for early elections in Israel "to give voters a chance to get rid of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," whom he described as one of the "major obstacles" to peace.

The visit comes amid escalating American criticism of Netanyahu and his government regarding the management of the war in Gaza and the Israeli plan to launch a possible ground attack on the city of Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinian civilians have taken refuge, in light of the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, leaving tens of thousands martyred, wounded and missing, amid a difficult situation. Humanitarian crisis described as catastrophic and worsening famine.

These criticisms increased after the killing of 7 aid workers from the World Central Kitchen organization in an Israeli air strike earlier this week in the city of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, which “exacerbated frustration in Washington.”

In a tense 30-minute phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the day before Thursday, President Joe Biden said the killing of aid workers was “unacceptable” and called for an “immediate ceasefire.”

The White House then explained that the two sides discussed the need to "announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, human suffering, and the safety of aid workers."

Lapid had previously repeatedly attacked the Israeli government headed by Netanyahu, accusing it of failing over 6 months to return Israeli detainees in Gaza and demanding its departure and early elections.


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Lapid to Washington amid disagreements over the Gaza war