Home News Biden cannot escape the shadow of Gaza war at G7 summit

Biden cannot escape the shadow of Gaza war at G7 summit

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President Biden shared a stage with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a sprawling Italian seaside resort, looking forward to talking about a security deal he had just signed that is intended to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight with Russia.

Because he missed the dinner to attend the signing ceremony and answer reporters’ questions, after answering a few questions about Ukraine, he seemed a little flustered when asked about a topic that has not been interesting recently: the Gaza war.

“I hope you’ll just play by the rules a little bit,” Biden snapped when asked about an update on a ceasefire in Gaza announced last month that has not been publicly accepted by Israel or Hamas. Biden reiterated the U.S. position that the proposal had been endorsed by the Israeli government, the U.N. Security Council and the Group of Seven, and that it was Hamas that was holding up the deal.

The moment symbolized how U.S. support for Israel’s war in Gaza has cast a shadow over Biden’s efforts to restore the United States to its traditional role as a defender of democracy and a beacon of international law. As he rallies the world behind Ukraine, he has become increasingly isolated in his unwavering support for Israel’s war against Hamas.

Israel says the U.S. government has in recent weeks been desperate to end the Gaza war, which began with a Hamas offensive on Oct. 7 that left 1,200 people dead and about 250 hostages. Gaza health authorities say more than 37,000 Gazans have died so far, and humanitarian aid groups warn that hundreds of thousands are facing famine.

In the weeks leading up to his two consecutive trips to Europe — Last week, Biden made his first trip to France to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings — and he solidified the support of European allies by: A ceasefire agreement was announced, with a three-phase plan Ultimately, a permanent ceasefire will be achieved and Gaza reconstruction will begin, an effort he said had Israel’s support.

“It is time to end this war and to greet a new day,” Biden said in a speech at the White House on May 31.

G7 Summit Agree with the plan In the days that followed, the United States said the plan offered “a credible path to peace and a two-state solution.” In the days before Biden left for the summit, the United States also sought and received the support of the Security Council for the plan. The United States has repeatedly blocked previous motions calling for a ceasefire.

But as he arrived in Bari, Italy, for the G7 summit, neither Israel nor Hamas, which is facing a new round of accusations of violating international law — one of many charges the Biden administration has defended Israel against — had publicly accepted the deal.

The UN committee found that both sides were responsible for killing civilians who claimed to be non-combatants. The report also stressed that the conflict had taken a heavy toll on children, not only killing them but also leaving a large number of them orphaned.

On the day the report was released, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the United States had not read the report; when asked a second time, he referred to a US Assessment The report found evidence that Israel had likely violated international law, but not enough to stop the military aid.

“This is where the United States stands on these issues of international humanitarian law,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I’m going to speak with the facts.”

But this week, Mr. Sullivan issued a statement condemning reports that Russia was separating Ukrainian children from their families, deporting them and putting them up for adoption. He called the allegations “despicable and shocking,” even though the United States found them credible.

In their final communique issued on Friday, G7 leaders called on Hamas and Israel to accept the deal proposed by Biden and said they were “unwavering” in their commitment to a two-state solution.

They also go to great lengths to emphasize that both Hamas and Israel should abide by international law.

The communiqué stated: “In exercising its right to self-defense, Israel must in all circumstances fully comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law. We condemn Hamas’ continued use of civilian infrastructure for military activities and its failure to distinguish itself from the civilian population of Gaza.”

“We deplore equally all civilian casualties and note with great concern the unacceptable number of civilian casualties, especially among women and children,” the statement said, adding that it called on “all parties to take all feasible measures to protect civilian lives.”

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