Netanyahu reveals to members of the US Senate his plans in Gaza

Members of the US Senate said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Republican members of the Senate on Wednesday that Israel will continue its efforts to defeat the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip, after he delivered a speech at a luncheon.

“He’s going to do what he said he was going to do. He’s going to finish what he’s doing,” Senator Jim Risch said.

The conservative Israeli leader spoke to Republicans via video link nearly a week after Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a speech in the Senate in which he sharply criticized Netanyahu, calling him an obstacle to peace and urging new elections in Israel.

Wednesday’s meeting highlighted the partisan polarization in Washington’s policies toward Israel. Netanyahu has long sided with Republicans who accused Schumer of seeking to “overthrow” him.

Senator John Barrasso said, “We asked him…for an update and we got it regarding the war, the release of the hostages and the efforts to defeat Hamas. We told him that Israel has every right to defend itself and he said that is exactly what they continue to do.”

Earlier on Wednesday, US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, who belongs to the Republican Party, told reporters that he was considering inviting Netanyahu to address Congress, although such invitations to foreign leaders are usually directed by both Johnson and Schumer in his capacity as majority leader. In the Senate.

Democratic leaders face divisions within their party due to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, five months after a war that began with an attack on Israel by Hamas militants on October 7.

A spokesman for Schumer said Netanyahu had offered to talk to Democrats as well, but Schumer declined, saying the talks should not be on a partisan basis.

Schumer told reporters, “I care very much about Israel and its long-term future. Making the issue partisan hurts the cause of helping Israel.”

Progressives asked Democratic President Joe Biden to put greater pressure on Israel to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where relief groups warn of famine and American officials say more than 30,000 civilians have been killed.

Senator Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Netanyahu addressed the issue of civilian deaths and the need to bring more humanitarian aid into Gaza. He added that Netanyahu “strongly supports” plans to build a temporary dock and bring aid by sea.

Risch went on to say that Netanyahu is “deeply sensitive to the fact that every civilian casualty is a very unfortunate event.”

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said that Netanyahu made a presentation and then took questions from members.

McConnell went on to tell reporters, “I made it clear to him that the United States has no business advising a democratic ally on when elections will be held or what kind of military campaign the ally might launch.”

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