Biden Administration Urges Israel to Avoid Hezbollah Confrontation After Hamas Conflict

President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly pushing Israel to contain conflict in the Middle East, urging the country to not attack Hezbollah after finishing its war with Hamas, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are at odds on how to handle the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas war, as Israeli officials are reportedly pushing their country to move to attack Iranian-backed Hezbollah located in Lebanon following their war with Gaza, according to the Washington Post. The president and his aides have also urged Israeli leaders to refrain from fighting Hezbollah and Hamas simultaneously, arguing that the country would struggle to take on a two-front war, the Post reported in October.

The U.S. president has repeatedly stressed that he believes in a two-state solution as he faces backlash from within his administration and from some close allies over his pro-Israel stance. As the war continues, U.S. officials told the Post that Israeli leaders remain enraged by the Oct. 7 attack and are not currently open to discussing a two-state solution. Netanyahu himself is reportedly opposed to Biden’s proposed two-state solution, and the disagreement has caused frustration between the two world leaders, a source familiar with the president’s thinking told the Post.

American officials are insisting that “Gaza must be under Palestinian rule in a way that connects governance in the West Bank with Gaza,” Martin Indyk, who represented the United States in failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks under former President Barack Obama, told the Washington Post. “There’s only one legally constituted candidate for this job: the Palestinian Authority.” In recent weeks, Biden has voiced some frustration with how Israel is prosecuting its war with Hamas.

During a December campaign reception, the president told donors that Netanyahu must change his government while warning that Israel’s global support was dwindling because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza. Vice President Kamala Harris has reportedly been encouraging Biden to display more public empathy toward Gaza and the Palestinians, according to Politico. The White House denied the report, arguing that there is and never has been any “daylight” between the president and the vice president.

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