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‘We’re Not a Banana Republic,’ Netanyahu Says, Rejecting Criticism From U.S.

‘We’re Not a Banana Republic,’ Netanyahu Says, Rejecting Criticism From U.S.


The rift over the battle in Gaza between Israel and the United States, its closest ally, broadened on Sunday when Israel’s prime minister accused a top-ranking American lawmaker of treating his nation like a “banana republic.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s dealing with growing strain to barter a cease-fire, lashed out at Senator Chuck Schumer over his name for elections to be held in Israel when the battle winds down. In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Netanyahu advised that Mr. Schumer, the Senate majority chief, was attempting to topple his authorities and mentioned his name for an election was “completely inappropriate.”

“That’s one thing that Israel, the Israeli public, does by itself,” he mentioned. “We’re not a banana republic.”

On Thursday, Mr. Schumer, a Democrat from New York who’s the highest-ranking Jewish elected official within the United States, delivered a scathing speech on the Senate ground, accusing Mr. Netanyahu of letting his political survival supersede “the very best pursuits of Israel” and of being “too keen to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza.”

The speech was indicative of the widening hole between Israel and the United States over the battle and mounting frustrations in Washington with Mr. Netanyahu’s insurance policies. President Biden praised Mr. Schumer’s speech, although he stopped wanting endorsing the decision for a brand new election.

Among essentially the most contentious points: methods to get meals and assist into the Gaza Strip.

With the humanitarian disaster worsening, the United States this month began airdropping meals and water into the enclave. On Friday, a maritime cargo of assist reached northern Gaza’s shores, the primary to take action in practically twenty years. Another cargo of important items is anticipated to quickly set sail for Gaza from Cyprus.

Over the following few weeks, the United States is planning to construct a floating dock off Gaza’s shores that the White House has mentioned may ultimately assist ship as many as two million meals in Gaza every day.

All of those efforts are designed to get extra assist into Gaza, the place the United Nations says extreme starvation and malnutrition are alarmingly rampant. But nevertheless welcome the initiatives, specialists and humanitarian teams say one of the simplest ways to stave off famine is to dealer a cease-fire between the Israelis and Hamas, which attacked Israel on Oct. 7, setting off the battle.

“We can not stack up assist to the extent that’s wanted, and we can not preserve it secure for each individuals delivering it and the individuals receiving it, so long as there’s nonetheless an energetic battle happening,” mentioned Sarah Schiffling, an skilled on humanitarian logistics and provide chains on the Hanken School of Economics in Finland.

Cease-fire talks are anticipated to choose up velocity within the coming days.

On Sunday, a second ship towing assist ready to depart for Gaza because the founding father of the meals charity behind it, José Andrés, referred to as for a cease-fire and mentioned that Israel needs to be doing extra to stop starvation within the embattled enclave.

“At the very least, in the event that they don’t cease the army advance, to guarantee that no one’s hungry and that no one’s with out meals and water,” he mentioned in an look on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“This is one thing that needs to be occurring in a single day, however for political causes, I suppose, it’s not occurring there,” he added.

Mr. Andrés mentioned he hoped to scale up his group’s operations to deliver “enormous portions of meals every day into the shores of Gaza.”

Though the ships dispatched by World Central Kitchen, Mr. Andrés’s charity, have attracted international consideration in current days, maritime deliveries have to date offered only a tiny fraction of the help that the United Nations says is required to avert famine. He mentioned that with out query overland deliveries have been wanted, however that his group was doing what was attainable.

“More is extra,” he mentioned.

The first ship, the Open Arms, which towed a barge to a makeshift jetty off Gaza on Friday, introduced the territory the equal of about 10 truckloads of meals — far lower than the five hundred vehicles a day assist teams say are wanted.

Aid teams have pleaded for Israel to permit extra vehicles into Gaza via extra land crossings, saying that solely a stream of vehicles — no more attention-grabbing strategies comparable to airdrops or the ships — can maintain Gaza’s inhabitants. World Central Kitchen has itself despatched greater than 1,400 assist vehicles into Gaza by land and opened greater than 60 neighborhood kitchens inside Gaza to serve scorching meals, it mentioned.

Yet solely about 150 vehicles have been getting into Gaza via the 2 open land crossings every day, based on U.N. knowledge, due to quite a lot of elements, together with prolonged Israeli inspections to implement stringent restrictions on what can enter Gaza.

The limitations at these entry factors have set off a scramble for inventive options amongst donors such because the European Union, which helped arrange the Cyprus-to-Gaza maritime route, and the United States, which is main the hassle to construct a brief floating pier off Gaza’s coast to accommodate extra deliveries by ship.

The U.S. has additionally been airdropping assist. On Sunday the U.S. army dropped practically 29,000 meals and 34,500 bottles of water in northern Gaza, it said on social media. Little assist has arrived within the north since Israel’s assault on the territory minimize it off from the south early within the battle.

In remarks on Sunday to his authorities, Mr. Netanyahu careworn that Israel would proceed combating in Gaza till “full victory,” and vowed that the military would invade Rafah, the place multiple million Palestinians have huddled in crowded shelters, tent encampments and the properties of associates and kinfolk.

“We will function in Rafah,” he mentioned. “That is the one technique to eradicate the remainder of Hamas’s brigades of murderers, and that’s the solely technique to apply the mandatory army strain to free all of our hostages.”

He mentioned Israel had authorised the army’s plans to function in Rafah, together with measures to maneuver the civilian inhabitants from fight areas.

Mr. Biden has mentioned that Israel shouldn’t proceed with an operation in Rafah with out “a reputable and executable plan for making certain the security of and help for the multiple million individuals sheltering there,” based on the White House.

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah, weary from practically six months of battle, have mentioned they’re terrified {that a} floor invasion of the town may finish in mass civilian casualties.

Adam Rasgon reported from Jerusalem, Vivian Yee from Cairo, and Gaya Guptaand David Segal from New York. Vivek Shankar and Minho Kim contributed reporting.



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