Netanyahu cancels Israeli delegation’s trip to Washington after US fails to veto UN cease-fire resolution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will no longer send a delegation of top officials to Washington this week after President Biden’s administration failed to veto a U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza on Monday.Netanyahu’s delegation was scheduled to discuss potential compromises for an invasion of Rafah, a final foothold for Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli leader issued an ultimatum to the U.S., warning that he would cancel the meeting if the U.S. did not veto Monday’s U.N. resolution. The U.S. abstained rather than vetoing, allowing the resolution to pass.”The US did not veto today the new text that calls for a ceasefire without the condition of releasing the abductees,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “This is a clear withdrawal from the US’s consistent position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war.”This withdrawal damages both the war effort and the effort to release the hostages because it gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to accept a ceasefire without the release of our hostages,” it continued.SCHUMER’S ANTI-NETANYAHU SPEECH STRENGTHENS BIBI IN ISRAEL’S WAR TO DEFEAT HAMASWhile the resolution did call for the release of hostages, it did not say that this should be a condition for any cease-fire. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby explained the U.S. decision in a briefing with reporters on Monday. He said the U.S. could not support the U.N. resolution due to its lack of a condemnation of Hamas, but they nevertheless decided not to veto.ISRAEL LAUDS CONGRESS’ BLOW TO UN AGENCY WITH ALLEGED HAMAS TIES AS INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUEHe also said at the time that he had yet to hear of any cancellation of Israel’s plans from Netanyahu’s government.”We were looking forward to having an opportunity to speak to an Israeli delegation later this week about about exploring viable options and alternatives to a major ground offensive in Rafah. And I’ll let the Israelis speak to whether they’re coming or not. And I saw what Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would do. And I’ve seen some early press reporting in just the last couple of minutes that they have moved forward with that. I can’t confirm it,” Kirby said.Biden’s administration has warned Israel for weeks not to move forward with an invasion of Rafah. The city is now home to roughly 1 million Palestinians who fled from the war elsewhere in Gaza.WHY MIDEAST NEIGHBORS WON’T OFFER REFUGE TO PALESTINIANS STUCK IN GAZA WAR ZONENetanyahu’s government has said it will take all precautions to protect civilian lives in an offensive, but Biden’s administration has not been satisfied with the plans.Israeli officials say an invasion of Rafah will move forward with or without U.S. support, however.
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