Photo Credit: Adam Schultz / White House
U.S. President Joe Biden on a phone call aboard Air Force One.

US President Joe Biden demanded Israel agree to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in a brief and frigid phone conversation Thursday night with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The president also ordered Israel’s prime minister to accept Hamas demands for a deal to release the hostages the terror group is still holding in Gaza.


According to the White House readout of the conversation between the two men, Biden also severely reprimanded Netanyahu for the death of seven workers of the World Central Kitchen humanitarian aid organization, who were erroneously killed in an IDF air strike in Gaza earlier in the week.

The incident has caused a firestorm of outrage worldwide, despite immediate apologies from the IDF and acknowledgement from the prime minister that the hit was a tragic mistake.

“The two leaders discussed the situation in Gaza. President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable,” according to the readout.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps,” the readout continued — an undisguised threat to the sole democracy in the Middle East and a clear step back from the so-called “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel constantly emphasized by both leaders.

“He underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home,” the readout went on.

“The two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israeli people. President Biden made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats,” the readout concluded.

Following the call, Netanyahu — who is still recovering from a hernia operation he underwent earlier in the week — convened a meeting of Israel’s Security Cabinet, which is to be followed by a meeting of the War Cabinet.

“For years, Iran has been acting against us both directly and via its proxies; therefore, Israel is acting against Iran and its proxies, defensively and offensively,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks at the Security Cabinet.

“We will know how to defend ourselves and we will act according to the simple principle of whoever harms us or plans to harm us, we will harm them.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.