Netanyahu cancels Israeli delegation to US over abstention on Gaza ceasefire at UN

The decision to cancel the visit of two of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest advisors to Washington has been met with surprise and concern. The delegation, led by National Security Advisor Tzaji Hanegbi and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, was scheduled to explore alternatives to the invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza. However, after a phone conversation between Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden, the visit was canceled due to disagreements on how best to end the conflict in Gaza.

The cancellation came as a result of growing tensions between Israel and the United States over how best to address the situation in Gaza. While Netanyahu is focused on defeating Hamas through military action, the Biden Administration is opposed to a major ground operation in Rafah due to concerns about civilian casualties and regional stability. Instead, Washington has proposed alternative approaches that target key Hamas elements without escalating the conflict.

Despite this disagreement, another visit by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is still planned for Washington. Gallant will meet with US defense officials to discuss alternatives that do not have major consequences for civilians as a new large-scale military operation in Rafah would. Gallant will also discuss arms deliveries from the United States and Israel’s qualitative military advantage.

The White House has expressed concern about the impact of a major military operation on civilians in Gaza and its implications for regional stability and international relations. While both Netanyahu and Biden want to see an end to the conflict, they differ on how best to achieve it. This highlights ongoing challenges for peace negotiations and underscores the importance of finding common ground between Israel and its allies.

By Samantha Johnson

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