Biden, Netanyahu Discuss Israeli Killing of Foreign Aid Workers

Biden took a harsher tone with Netanyahu than before but it's unclear if it will amount to a change in policy

President Biden on Thursday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the targeted Israeli killing of seven workers for the World Central Kitchen.

According to the White House readout of the call, Biden took a harsher tone with Netanyahu than before, but it’s unclear if the rhetoric will amount to a change of the policy of unconditional military support for the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

“President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable. 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.

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

After the call, the Israeli cabinet approved steps to allow more aid into Gaza, including the opening of another border crossing and using Israel’s Port of Ashdod as a hub for humanitarian supplies. The White House said it welcomed the steps and that they should be implemented “immediately.”

It’s unclear at this point if the steps will bring much relief to the Palestinians in Gaza since many aid groups suspended operations after the killing of the World Central Kitchen workers. US officials also didn’t spell out what other steps they wanted Israel to take and didn’t say what the consequences would be if Israel didn’t do enough.

“I’m not going to preview any potential policy decisions coming forward,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Kirby also said that Biden has been a “friend and a partner” of Israel throughout his entire political career and said that’s “not going to change.”

The White House readout of the Biden-Netanyahu call also said Biden “underscored” the need for an “immediate ceasefire.” But the readout suggested the type of ceasefire he was talking about would be linked to a hostage deal.

“He underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home,” the readout said.

Biden also expressed US support for Israel as it is preparing for potential Iranian retaliation over the Israeli bombing of Iran’s consulate in Syria. “The two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israeli people. President Biden made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats,” the readout said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.