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Shifts in US policy: Hamas ‘hails’ Biden’s new stance on Israel


NEW DELHI: In a significant departure from long-established policy, the United States recently chose not to support Israel’s stance at the United Nations, a move that has drawn attention from both allies and critics. This change comes amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has seen nearly six months of intense fighting.
A senior Hamas official, in a conversation with Newsweek, pointed out what they consider a noticeable shift in US policy towards Israel.This change is attributed to a combination of international pressure and domestic concerns within the United States, leading to a more nuanced stance from President Joe Biden‘s administration. The US abstention from a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for a ceasefire during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan marks a clear instance of this policy shift. The resolution, which was passed without US support, was subsequently criticized by Israel, prompting the cancellation of a planned high-level visit to Washington.
The abstention and the broader changes in US policy have been welcomed by Hamas, which has long criticized the US for its unwavering support of Israel. “There are clear changes in its policy towards Israel,” said Ghazi Hamad, a senior official and spokesperson for Hamas. He attributes these changes to what he describes as Israel’s counterproductive policies and actions, which he believes have placed the US in a difficult position on the global stage.
However, the senior Hamas official also noted that the US had previously made a “grave mistake” by allowing Israel the “ability and legitimacy to commit crimes and genocide” through continued support and insufficient pressure to halt the war. Despite this, there is a belief within Hamas that the US has the power to compel Israel to cease hostilities.
Israel, on the other hand, has firmly rejected the UN resolution. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, criticized the resolution’s effectiveness and accused Hamas of exploiting it to continue its assaults on Israeli civilians. The Israeli government maintains that the resolution undermines ongoing negotiations and fails to address the real issues at hand.
The US abstention reflects growing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem over how to proceed with the conflict. While the US has historically stood by Israel’s right to defend itself, there has been increasing concern over the humanitarian impact of Israel’s military actions, particularly the proposed ground offensive into southern Gaza.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the decision to abstain, emphasizing that any ceasefire should coincide with the release of hostages in Gaza. However, he also noted that the resolution did not include crucial language condemning Hamas, which prevented the US from offering its full support.
The evolving US-Israel dynamics come at a critical time as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces both international scrutiny and domestic challenges. With President Biden expressing a commitment to a balanced approach in addressing the conflict, the international community watches closely to see how these policy shifts will influence the ongoing war and the broader Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape.

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