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US President Biden labels Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza a ‘mistake’

US President Joe Biden labelled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza a “mistake.”

During an interview aired on Tuesday night on US Spanish-language network Univision, Mr Biden said what Mr Netanyahu was doing in Gaza is “a mistake. I don’t agree with his approach.” 

He said Gaza should have “total access to all food and medicine” for the next six to eight weeks and ramped up pressure on the Israelis to agree to a ceasefire.

Mr Biden’s comments exposed a widening rift between the two allies over the course of the six-month war where more than 33,360 Palestinians have been killed by the Israelis, around two-thirds women and children.

But the criticisms have not stopped the US from continuing to be the largest supplier of arms to Israel.

The most serious disagreement has been over Israel’s plans for an offensive in the southernmost Gaza city of Rafah which Mr Netanyahu has pledged to invade.

The rift was worsened by an Israeli air strike last week on an aid convoy, which killed seven workers with the food charity World Central Kitchen, most of them foreigners. 

Israel claimed the deaths were unintentional even though the aid agency said the co-ordinates of the convoy had been provided to the Israelis.

During the interview Mr Biden said it was “outrageous” how the aid convoy had been hit by drones and taken out on a highway.”

Hunger in Gaza is overshadowing the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, a typically joyous festival during which families celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Israel halted aid deliveries to Gaza in the early days of the war and only in the last few days has allowed an increase in the number of trucks entering the territory. 

Aid groups have complained that supplies are not reaching desperate people quickly enough, blaming Israeli restrictions, and countries have attempted other ways to deliver them including air drops and by sea.

But Israel blames aid groups for being too slow to deliver aid once it is inside Gaza. 

Those groups say Israeli blockages have made aid deliveries almost impossible. 

Ceasefire talks are continuing between Israel and Hamas in Cairo.

No breakthrough in the talks is reported, particularly over key issues such as the release of the hostages captured by Hamas and other resistance fighters who staged a surprise attack on October 7, during which some 1,200 were killed. 

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