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Kirby: US change in policy on Israel hangs on protection of aid workers

John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser, said the U.S. will wait and see what Israel does in the coming hours and days and U.S. policy is hung on the protection of aid workers.

Kirby joined Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Thursday shortly after President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone for about half an hour, the first conversation since seven aid workers, including one American citizen, were killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

 “What we need to see is more aid getting in, we need to see more effort applied to keeping humanitarian aid workers safe, and any change to our policy will be sort of hung on our assessment of the degree to which Israel complies with all of that,” Kirby said.

Seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen (WCK) were killed Monday, drawing sharp criticism of Israel’s continued bombardment in Gaza. President Biden released a statement Tuesday saying he was “outraged” at the news of the workers’ deaths.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed responsibility for the “unintended” airstrikes and said it was a “tragic event,” but also said that things like this happen in war.

Kirby said the two leaders’ conversation was “very direct,” covering a lot of ground. He said Biden expressed his frustration over the growing number of civilian casualties, the risks posed to humanitarian aid workers, and “quite frankly, over the lack of progress in increasing the volume of humanitarian assistance that gets into Gaza.”

“So, the president made it very clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that there’s going to need to be some changes,” Kirby said.

During the call, Biden pressured Netanyahu toward a cease-fire deal that would release the remaining hostages in Gaza.

Kirby said he thinks it’s “fair to say” that Biden’s message was “fairly received” and Netanyahu understood where Biden was coming from.

Cavuto pressed Kirby, asking what the U.S. would do if more were killed. Kirby said he doesn’t “want to get ahead” of where things are at right now because it’s a “terrific question” but also “a hypothetical one.”

Source: The Hill

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