Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer is scheduled to engage in discussions with senior Biden administration officials and lawmakers in Washington today, addressing the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
This meeting occurs as the U.S. intensifies its efforts to persuade Israel to de-escalate its military operations in Gaza.
Pressure grows for cease-fire as civilian casualties rise in Gaza
Despite international calls for a cease-fire to protect Gazan civilians, Israel has faced mounting pressure to halt its extensive assault on southern Gaza, where a significant number of civilian casualties have been reported.
The U.S. has been actively urging Israel to reconsider its approach, with over 20,000 Palestinians losing their lives in the conflict, predominantly women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
UN appeals for urgent Gaza aid as Netanyahu vows prolonged conflict
The United Nations has highlighted the urgent need for aid, as the entire population of Gaza, totaling 2.3 million, has been displaced.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains steadfast in his commitment to a prolonged conflict, asserting on Monday that the war against Hamas in Gaza “will be long” and is “not close to ending.”
Contrary to advice from the Biden administration and European governments, Netanyahu has pledged to escalate strikes on Gaza, citing the release of approximately 100 Israeli hostages still held by Hamas as a primary objective, despite conflicting views from U.S. military leaders.
Biden admin discusses Gaza post-war plans with Minister Dermer
In addition to addressing ongoing military operations, Biden administration officials are anticipated to inquire about Israel’s post-war plans for Gaza during the discussions with Minister Dermer.
The U.S. and its Arab allies advocate for an independent Palestinian government, likely led by the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority.
However, Israel has rejected proposals for Palestinian Authority control, affirming its commitment to a military occupation of the territory.
Continuing airstrikes and international concern
Airstrikes persist, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting about 70 casualties at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp on Christmas Day.
The Ministry alleges that more than 100 people were killed in strikes across Gaza on Monday.
International concerns are growing, with Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra describing the events at the Maghazi camp as a “massacre” in a densely populated residential area.
Minister Dermer’s talks: Shaping Israel-Hamas conflict, regional dynamics
Minister Dermer’s meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and members of Congress are expected to delve into these critical issues.
The outcome of these discussions may shape the trajectory of the Israel-Hamas conflict and the broader dynamics in the region.
As the diplomatic efforts unfold, the world watches closely to see if these high-level talks will lead to a shift in the course of the conflict and pave the way for a resolution that addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.