New Delhi, Dec 14: White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is en route to Israel, where he is scheduled to engage in talks with Israeli ministers and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday.
The discussions are centred around the necessity for more precise strikes against targets in Gaza. This follows recent warnings from the United States, Israel's closest ally, regarding the conduct of the conflict with Hamas.
US President Joe Biden has attributed a decline in global support for Israel's war on Hamas to what he termed as "indiscriminate bombing" of Gaza. Sullivan's diplomatic mission is likely to include addressing these concerns and fostering a better understanding of the ongoing conflict.
On Wednesday, Sullivan held discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The talks involved negotiations to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a process that had been interrupted by the events of the 7th of October.
The situation on the ground in Gaza remains dire, with the health ministry reporting at least 19 casualties in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes on Thursday morning. Simultaneously, Israel's military operation in Jenin, West Bank, is on its third day, resulting in the death of 11 Palestinians and numerous injuries.
The United Nations General Assembly has taken a stand, voting to demand an urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. This move challenges the stance of the United States, which has consistently opposed ceasefire resolutions in the UN's Security Council.
In the emergency special session of the General Assembly, a significant majority of 153 nations voted in favour of the ceasefire resolution, while 10 voted against it, and 23 abstained. Although a General Assembly vote carries political significance and is regarded as having moral weight, it is important to note that it is nonbinding, unlike a Security Council resolution.
This action by the General Assembly comes in the wake of the United States veto of a ceasefire resolution in the Security Council last week. The Security Council resolution, despite gaining majority approval within the 15-member body, was blocked by the veto of the United States. The General Assembly's move reflects a broader international sentiment advocating for an immediate end to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, despite the political challenges faced by the Security Council.
The recent escalation began when Hamas breached Israel's heavily guarded perimeter on October 7th, leading to the loss of 1,200 lives and the taking of 240 hostages. Some hostages were released during a brief truce. The Gaza health ministry reports a staggering toll of 18,600 deaths and 50,000 injuries in the enclave since the commencement of the conflict. The discussions in Israel aim to address the evolving situation and seek potential diplomatic solutions to the ongoing crisis.