Netanyahu pushes back against U.S. criticism

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The White House says Israel’s Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu has agreed to send a delegation to Washington in coming days to hear U.S. warnings against Israel’s invasion of Rafah, Gaza’s most densely populated city.

“More than a million people have taken refuge in Rafah…they have nowhere else to go,” said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

The agreement was announced following the president’s first phone call with the prime minister in more than a month.

Despite repeated warnings from the Biden administration, on Sunday Netanyahu vowed to continue Israel’s military campaign in Rafah to take out key Hamas targets.

“We’re going to continue military pressure,” said Netanyahu.

Sullivan says Israel’s current plan would exhaust an already dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza and make it nearly impossible to deliver aid inside.

“We share the goal of defeating Hamas, we just believe in a coherent strategy to make that happen,” said Sullivan.

Monday, the United Nation’s citing a new report, warned hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will starve without an immediate ceasefire.

“Famine in the northern part of Gaza is imminent,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Sullivan said the Biden administration and partners in Qatar are still pushing for a ceasefire deal to pause fighting and release hostages but described the process as “elusive.”

Sunday, Netanyahu said he’s hoping for diplomatic solution but called Hamas’ demands “outlandish.”

Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), citing the growing death toll in Gaza and Netanyahu’s refusal to support a Palestinian state, called for new leadership in Israel.

Schumer is the highest ranking Jewish official in the U.S.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas.) called Schumer’s comments “inappropriate” and “embarrassing,” adding that U.S. leaders should not undercut Israel’s democracy.

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