The Democratic senator says Netanyahu “basically continues to point the finger” at Biden regarding Gaza – Top Stories (Trending Perfect)


Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen on Sunday attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over what Van Hollen said was Netanyahu's refusal to acquiesce to President Joe Biden's requests for more humanitarian work in Gaza amid the war with Hamas.

In an interview on ABC News' “This Week,” Van Hollen, a Maryland lawmaker and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Biden “needs to back up his 'no excuses' language with real action.”

“We have a situation where Netanyahu continues to point the finger at the president of the United States, and we are sending more bombs,” Van Hollen told “This Week” anchor Martha Raddatz. “This doesn't make sense.”

The senator was a strong supporter of reconsidering sending offensive weapons to Israel due to concerns about the situation of civilians in Gaza and the expected Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, where more than a million Palestinians are believed to be taking refuge.

“My view, Martha, is that until the Netanyahu government allows more aid into Gaza to help people who are starving to death, we should not send any more bombs,” Van Hollen said on Sunday.

Biden and other US officials have expressed growing frustration with Netanyahu and the way the Israeli military is waging its campaign against Hamas in Gaza, given the overall high death toll.

Since the October 7 Hamas terror attack sparked the war, more than 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry there.

However, although the president and his senior officials have spoken out about Palestinians caught in the crossfire and warned that there could be “consequences” if the Israelis move into Rafah without a plan for civilians, the White House has so far refused to impose military conditions. Help or take other overt steps to pressure Netanyahu.

Raddatz on Sunday pressed Van Hollen on what additional steps he would like to see from the administration, in light of Netanyahu’s determination to go to Rafah and, in the prime minister’s words, finish dismantling Hamas’ combat capabilities.

There should be a “two-way street, not a one-way blank check with American taxpayer money,” Van Hollen said.

“I think we need to use our leverage better. We have different pieces of leverage and one of them is sending more offensive weapons. So, President Biden needs to get serious about ensuring that more humanitarian aid gets to Gaza as Netanyahu has been doing.” His demands,” he said.

The administration declined to submit new requests for weapons to Congress, choosing instead to send packages that had already been approved, which Van Hollen described as a “final race” around critics on Capitol Hill.

Although Van Hollen said he supports ongoing Israeli operations against Hamas, specifically — noting that the country “has a duty to defend itself” — “you can do that with fewer civilian casualties and certainly you can prevent the horror of this humanitarian catastrophe that we are facing.” “. “We're watching it unfold.”

“A third of humanitarian aid shipments to northern Gaza were blocked last month,” Van Hollen said. “You can open the Erez crossing in the north and get help now. I mean, children are starving to death.”

But he evaded when Raddatz pressed him on whether he considered Netanyahu a war criminal after he singled out two hardline members of the prime minister's coalition for what he said were steps to prevent aid from reaching Gaza.

“We will have to make a decision about the full intention of the Israeli government… Ultimately that will be decided in the future,” he said.

Ofir Falk, a senior adviser to Netanyahu, insisted to ABC News earlier this month that Israel was doing enough to help civilians in the war, saying “tens of thousands” of aid trucks had entered Gaza since the beginning of the conflict.

“No other country can do this,” Falk said.

However, he said Israel must also take steps to “verify that Hamas is not stealing it.”

Van Hollen also separately addressed “This Week”'s partial collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore last week. He said the government was committed to helping the city recover, including helping the families of six workers believed killed, all of whom had immigrated to the United States.

“It is a clear example of the contributions and sacrifices made by immigrants,” he said.

“The other priority right now is opening the canal because this is a thriving port in Baltimore. We have over 15,000 people working directly in the port. And thousands more – their livelihoods depend on the port. So, opening this canal is the answer,” Van Hollen said.

“The Army Corps of Engineers will cover all costs of clearing the canal…and the federal government will pay 90 percent of the costs of clearing the canal.” [rebuilding] Costs and costs. [Ben] Cardin and I plan to introduce legislation to cover the other 10.”



Leave a comment