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Sen. Van Hollen calls on White House to ‘lay out’ consequences to Netanyahu

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Sunday he was glad to see President Biden threaten Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with consequences for wartime activity, but he called on the White House to outline details of what the repercussions would be.

“I was glad to see the president, at least as reported out, finally say to Netanyahu, that if you don’t follow these, you know, my requests, that there will be consequences,” Van Hollen said in an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

“But the president and the White House have yet to lay out what consequences they have and they want to impose,” he continued. “And we have had a situation where for months, the president has made requests to the Netanyahu government, they have ignored those requests, and we’ve sent more 2,000-pound bombs.

“We cannot revert back to that,” Van Hollen added. “We have to make sure that when the president requests something that we have a means to enforce it.”

In recent days, Biden’s rhetoric has sharpened following a deadly Israeli airstrike that resulted in the deaths of six aid workers and one Palestinian driver. The incident has prompted global rebuke and some of the harshest criticism yet from the Biden administration directed toward its key ally of Israel.

Even ahead of the aid workers’ deaths, Biden and his administration have put more pressure on Netanyahu’s government to take greater caution in protecting civilian lives. In the days since, however, the White House has suggested that support from the U.S. could be conditional on Israel’s subsequent actions.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the White House said in a readout of a call between Biden and Netanyahu in the days following the airstrike.

“He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps,” the readout continued.

Source: The Hill

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