President Joe Biden’s administration is expressing concern over the potential fallout from Israel’s impending ground invasion of Gaza, despite publicly supporting the country in its conflict with Hamas.
Although Mr Biden’s unwavering support for Israel in the wake of Hamas’ acts of terror has garnered praise from unexpected sources such as Republicans and former President George W. Bush, his administration is urging Tel Aviv to develop a strategy for what comes after the potential dismantling of Hamas, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
Publicly, Mr Biden’s aides have refrained from questioning Israel’s response, but there is growing concern behind the scenes regarding the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.
Additionally, they are reportedly uneasy about Israel’s demand for the evacuation of civilians from northern Gaza within a 24-hour timeframe. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has acknowledged that this would be a challenging task.
On Friday, Mr Biden stated that people should not forget that the majority of Palestinians have no affiliation with Hamas.
Meanwhile, there are fears that the conflict could escalate and spread across the Middle East, with warnings that Hizbollah “is ready to act”.
The foreign minister of Iran has warned from Beirut that the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah has developed “designed” and “prepared” scenarios in case Israel does not halt its attacks on Gaza.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian informed reporters, “I am aware of the plans that Hizbollah has put in place. Any action taken by the resistance [Hizbollah] will have a profound impact on the Zionist entity.”
Mr Amir-Abdollahian added, “There is still a political opportunity to prevent a widespread crisis in the region.” However, he cautioned that it may soon be too late, claiming that pro-Iran groups are ready to act.
Incidents of clashes have already occurred at the northern border of Israel and Lebanon. An Israeli artillery strike near the border resulted in the death of Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injuries to six other reporters.
Kori Schake, the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, stated that concerns about civilian casualties and potential collective punishment will be significant as Israel continues its operations to eliminate Hamas.
She further commented, “However, given the horrifying nature of Hamas’s attack, I would be surprised if the US imposed any restrictions on providing material support to Israel.”
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