Kamala Harris: If Israel Doesn’t Adjust Stance in Gaza: ‘It’s Very Likely We’re Going To’

by Xara Aziz

Vice President Kamala Harris characterizes the discussion between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “candid and frank,” following her presence during the phone conversation about the Israel-Hamas war.

In an interview with Spectrum News, Harris said, “We will make sure Israel is never left without an ability to defend itself. At the same time, if there are not changes to their approach, it’s very likely we’re going to change our approach.”

In March, Harris called for a six-week pause in the Israel-Hamas war, requesting that Israel increase aid into Palestine while it fights a humanitarian crisis.

Her remarks came on the heels of recommendations from President Joe Biden to come to an agreement and just one day before a scheduled meeting with herself and Benny Gantz, Member of the Israeli Knesset who is involved in war planning. In February, Biden called Israel’s response to Hamas’ attack “over the top.”

Harris condemned the conditions in Gaza, describing the situation as a “humanitarian catastrophe.” This marked her most assertive evaluation to date of the Middle East conflict, which, according to Gazan health authorities, has claimed the lives of over 30,000 Palestinians and pushed the enclave to famine levels.

“What we are seeing every day in Gaza is devastating,” Harris said. “We have seen reports of families eating leaves or animal feed. Women giving birth to malnourished babies with little or no medical care. And children dying from malnutrition and dehydration. As I have said many times, too many innocent Palestinians have been killed.”

She continued: “The threat Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated,” Ms. Harris added. “And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate cease-fire, for at least the next six weeks.”

Meanwhile, Biden has pushed for a potential cease-fire by the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims across the globe fast from sunrise to sunset. According to a New York Times report, U.S. officials said Israel has “more or less accepted” the deal, but Hamas has yet to confirm they accept the deal.

Harris reaffirmed the United States’ backing for Israel’s right to defend itself against the persistent threat from Hamas, emphasizing the group’s disregard for innocent lives both in Israel and Gaza. She characterized Hamas as a “ruthless terrorist organization” posing a grave danger to Israel’s security, asserting that it should be eradicated.

 “Hamas claims it wants a cease-fire,” she said. “Well, there is a deal on the table.”

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