WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Wednesday, the White House said the U.S. is actively communicating with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on ways to end the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House deputy press secretary, said.
This is the fourth time President Joe Biden spoke with the prime minister in the last week. The administration says stopping the bloodshed requires calm diplomacy.
“The president has said that he wants to make sure that we end the violence right, the suffering that we are seeing with the Palestinian and the Israeli people,” Jean-Pierre said.
However, Republicans criticize the president’s approach to resolve the crisis and say he needs to understand who the enemy is.
“They aren’t at war with the Palestinian people. They’re fighting Hamas,” Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
McConnell says Israel needs support to deal with the threat posed by Hamas.
“That’s who this fight is between. Israel and Hamas. Not the Palestinian authority, not the Palestinian people. Israel and Hamas,” McConnell said.
“Hamas targets civilians. They’re objective is to kill women, to kill children, to kill innocent civilians,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.
Cruz says the president’s lack of action is undoing the work of the previous administration.
“Biden and Harris seem to want to double down on that failed strategy that is producing crisis and war in the middle east,” Cruz said.
The White House hasn’t said what will happen if a cease-fire does not happen soon.