US and Israeli interests clash over Gaza

By Zhao Jinglun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 31, 2014
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses during a press conference at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv on July 28, 2014. Netanyahu said Israelis must be ready for a long military campaign in Gaza. [Xinhua photo]

While the Obama administration maintains that it supports Israel's "right to defend itself" against Hamas, it is increasingly worried about the civilian casualties in Gaza. It is obvious that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated on the world stage, as IDF is intensifying its attacks on civilians, especially its attack on UN schools and its destruction of the sole power plant and other infrastructure.

As the debate gets increasingly acrimonious, Israel's Channel One has published a Hebrew transcript of the telephone conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, which the Times of Israel has translated into English. According to the transcript, Barack Obama said "I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halts all offensive activities in particular airstrikes."

He added: "Within a week of the end of Israel's military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas based on the 2012 understandings, including Israel's commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza."

To which Netanyahu answered: "Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It's impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators."

Obama insisted: "I trust Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not in a position to choose its mediators."

Netanyahu then said, "I protest, because Hamas can continue to launch rockets and use tunnels for terror attacks."

Obama (interrupting Netanyahu): "The ball is in Israel's court, and it must end all its military activities."

Netanyahu is not accepting Obama's orders.

It sounds like the transcript is genuine, so the debate continues.

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