Senator Chris Van Hollen says Netanyahu is "giving the finger" to Biden on Gaza

Washington DC - Senator Chris Van Hollen has sharply criticized President Joe Biden's Middle East policy and the attitude of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen has criticized continued US arms transfers to Israel and urged the Biden administration to do more to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen has criticized continued US arms transfers to Israel and urged the Biden administration to do more to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

"We have a situation where Netanyahu continues to essentially, you know, give the finger to the President of the United States," said the Democrat on Sunday on ABC. "And we're sending more bombs. That doesn't make sense."

Van Hollen affirmed Israel's supposed "right to defend itself" against Hamas, but the partnership with the US "needs to be a two-way street, not a one-way blank check with American taxpayer dollars."

In return, clear demands must be made and more aid for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip must be made a condition, demanded the senator from Maryland.

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"It’s about saying, hey, we have requests: Don’t let people starve to death," he said.

According to international experts, famine threatens the population of the sealed-off, occupied coastal territory.

Biden must follow up his recent more critical words towards Israel's government with action, the senator demanded of his party colleague.

Israel accused of blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza

Jewish Voice for Peace members and others in New York City protest President Joe Biden's continued support for Israel's assault on Gaza.
Jewish Voice for Peace members and others in New York City protest President Joe Biden's continued support for Israel's assault on Gaza.  © SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Van Hollen's remarks came as US military aid to Israel comes under increasing scrutiny.

On Sunday, Van Hollen said the Israeli government is actively blocking humanitarian aid for the Palestinian civilian population in contravention of international law.

The United Nations and aid organizations also accuse Israel of preventing sufficient aid deliveries to Gaza. Israel denies this accusation.

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Domestically, pressure is growing on President Biden because of his dealings with Israel. The US government has recently intensified its criticism of Israel on several channels, for example with an urgent warning against the ground offensive planned by Israel in the city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge.

At the same time, the Washington Post recently reported, citing unnamed officials in the Pentagon and the US State Department, that Washington continues to provide billions of dollars in arms aid to Israel.

Cover photo: Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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