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President Biden says Netanyahu is prolonging Gaza war for political gain

United States President Joe Biden has highlighted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is extending the war on Gaza for political gain, underscoring the tension between the two leaders.

In a candid interview, President Biden remarked that there is “every reason for people to draw” the conclusion that Netanyahu is prolonging the conflict for his own political purposes.

These remarks come as the Biden administration attempts to broker a truce and a captives exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, which Washington believes could lead to a lasting ceasefire and the reconstruction of Gaza. The US has framed the proposal as an Israeli initiative, stating that Hamas remains the main obstacle to the agreement.

In response, Hamas announced on Friday that it is engaging with the proposal “positively and constructively,” though no formal reply has been issued.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, however, has suggested that the proposed deal would allow Israel to continue its military operations until all objectives are met, including the complete dismantling of Hamas’s military and governance structures. This difference in portrayal of the proposal by US and Israeli officials has caused considerable confusion.

President Biden’s recent criticisms of Israel’s military strategy underscore his growing frustration. “Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of ‘total victory’ will … only bog down Israel in Gaza, draining economic, military, and human resources, and furthering Israel’s isolation in the world,” he stated.

Prior to the conflict, Netanyahu faced significant domestic challenges, including widespread protests over his judicial overhaul plans and ongoing corruption charges.

Political analysts and Palestinian rights advocates have long warned that Netanyahu has personal, political incentives to extend the war, potentially to bolster his standing within Israel and prolong his political career. Recent polls suggest that Netanyahu’s popularity has surged amidst the conflict, surpassing his main rival, war cabinet minister Benny Gantz.

The possibility of a protracted conflict was hinted at by Israeli officials close to Netanyahu. Just days before the truce proposal was announced, Israel’s National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi predicted that the fighting in Gaza could continue for at least another seven months.

In the US, Biden’s stance on the Gaza war poses risks to his re-election campaign, with polls indicating waning support among Arab, Muslim, and young voters due to his unwavering support for Israel.

Despite his self-proclaimed Zionist stance, President Biden has faced backlash for his administration’s vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire and his approval of $14 billion in additional military aid to Israel.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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