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Far-right Israel minister suggests that Trump would give more US support to offensive in Gaza

Palestinians watch a car burn after it was hit by an Israeli in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
JERUSALEM – A far-right minister in Israel’s government has criticized President Joe Biden and said that having Donald Trump in power would allow more freedom to fight Hamas. The comments sparked outrage among other Israeli officials on Sunday and highlighted the sensitivity of relations as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the region again this week.
The Biden administration has skirted Congress to rush weapons to Israel and shielded it from international calls for a cease-fire in the four months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. But the White House has urged Israel to take greater measures to avoid harming civilians and allow more aid to besieged Gaza.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s national security minister, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that Biden was hindering Israel’s war effort.
“Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel (to Gaza), which goes to Hamas,” Ben-Gvir said. “If Trump was in power, the U.S. conduct would be completely different.”
His remarks drew fire from Benny Gantz, a retired general and member of Netanyahu’s three-man War Cabinet, who said Ben-Gvir was “causing tremendous damage” to U.S.-Israeli relations. Opposition leader Yair Lapid, also posting on X, said Ben-Gvir’s remarks prove that he “does not understand foreign relations.

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