update deskU.S. News

Biden campaign co-chair: POTUS telling Netanyahu to protect civilians before ground campaign

"I have not heard President Biden call for a ceasefire without the release of hostages," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (right) shakes hands with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) looks on during a Feb. 18, 2024 meeting in Tel Aviv. Credit: Shachar Yurman/Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (right) shakes hands with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) looks on during a Feb. 18, 2024 meeting in Tel Aviv. Credit: Shachar Yurman/Israeli Ministry of Defense.

White House and U.S. State Department officials have said for weeks that Washington is decidedly against an Israeli ground campaign in Rafah and that Israel’s war cabinet must seek alternatives.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), national co-chair of U.S. President Joe Biden’s campaign, suggested on Sunday that the president has been sharing a different message with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“What I’ve been saying and what I believe President Biden has been saying directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu is, before you go in at scale and try to finish the job against Hamas, make sure that you allow for humanitarian aid and for those civilians trapped in Rafah to move out of the way before you conduct this last stage of the ground campaign,” Coons told Martha MacCallum, of Fox News, from Biden campaign headquarters in Delaware.

“That’s what I understand the disagreement to be about,” the Biden surrogate said.

“There will still be thousands of IDF soldiers in the south of Gaza,” Coons said. “I have not heard President Biden call for a ceasefire without the release of hostages. I think that is the direction that all of us are pressing for.”

“I think this is a tactical disagreement that began with Prime Minister Netanyahu insisting he would go into Rafah,” he added. “Let me remind you, in Rafah there’s more than a million Palestinian civilians who have fled from the north and the center of Gaza. They are now trapped up with the hard border with Egypt.”

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