Democratic Divide Over Israel Puts Pressure on Biden

Democratic Divide Over Israel Puts Pressure on Biden
As the fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies, violent mob attacks between Jewish and Arab Israelis are spreading inside the country. WSJ’s Dov Lieber reports from Lod where clashes have been especially intense. Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters

WASHINGTON—President Biden faces a significant political and foreign-policy challenge as fighting intensifies between Israel and Hamas and Democrats have become more divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the violence nears the end of its first week, the president has sought to defuse tensions while avoiding taking sides in the conflict, drawing criticism from many in his party. Republicans have pressed him to take a more firm stance in defense of Israel.

The White House said that Mr. Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in separate calls on Saturday.

The White House on Friday said it was engaged extensively in behind-the-scenes discussions with Israelis, Palestinians and other key players in the region, following the Israeli military launching the most intense bombardment of its five-day military operation in the Gaza Strip, adding tank and artillery fire from the ground to its campaign of airstrikes.

In a statement on the White House’s Eid celebration, Mr. Biden said Friday both Palestinians—including in Gaza—and Israelis “equally deserve to live in dignity, safety and security.”

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Source: Wall Street Journal

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