Senate Democrat confronts Biden on Gaza aid, saying, “You said ‘no excuses.”

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Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) asked President Biden to exert more pressure on the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the way they are treating Palestinians and the humanitarian situation in Gaza on Sunday.

Why it matters: The left flank of Biden’s party is becoming increasingly incensed at his and many other Democrats’ persistent backing for Israel in its conflict with Hamas.

“I’m just saying to President Biden, you said ‘no excuses’ when it comes to getting humanitarian aid into Gaza,” he says. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Van Hollen added, “Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to drag his feet.”

“So, instead of just sending more bombs without in turn getting the request that you want, Mr. President, let’s at least make this a partnership.”
In an attempt to persuade Israel to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which the UN claims is on the edge of famine, Van Hollen has been a major advocate among Senate Democrats.
Rewind: Earlier this month, Biden declared that he would “insist” that Israel permit additional relief vehicles to enter Palestinian territory in addition to his intentions to start airdropping aid into Gaza.

He said, “No justifications.”
On Thursday, the International Court of Justice added its voice to the growing international chorus pressuring Israel to grant unrestricted entry for humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Enlarge: The Washington Post reports that the federal government has approved the delivery of fighter jets and bombs to Israel, despite a deepening gap between Biden and Netanyahu.

On Sunday, Van Hollen made the case that Biden ought to carry out a national security directive he approved in February, which mandates that Israel deploy American weaponry in compliance with international law and permit humanitarian aid to reach Gaza.
“We have a situation where the Netanyahu administration consistently rejects the US president’s wishes and shows no consideration for them. What then do we do? We declare that we will send more bombs.”

On the other hand, Biden’s close buddy Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) likewise attacked Netanyahu on Sunday, calling the Gaza situation “wrong,” but he recanted the claim that the president isn’t doing enough to check Netanyahu’s government.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the former House majority whip stated, “I think the president is using his leverage.”
In addition, Clyburn disputed polls and pro-Palestinian demonstrations that indicate American support for Israel’s war effort is waning, asserting that the US must “keep our word” and “stand in support of Israel.”

A request for comment was not immediately answered by a White House spokesman.

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