President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are working overtime to force Israel to open water, electricity and food for Gaza – a move that puts at risk the 199 hostages being held there under dire circumstances.
Israel has placed a siege on Gaza following a brutal Hamas' terror attack that killed over 1,300 Israelis.
"We have a long history of dealing this and sieges work," an Israeli security source told Newsmax.
The source noted the withholding of water and electric are the "only leverage Israel has over Hamas right now," adding that giving aid to Gaza gives Hamas options.
Last week, Israel's energy minister, Israel Katz, said that not a single "electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter" until the "abductees" were returned safely.
Biden has repeatedly stated that Israel has a right to defend itself from the terror group, but the administration is apparently seeking to appease progressive Democrats by backing humanitarian aid for Gaza – over the well-being of the hostages.
As many as 20 Americans are believed to be held hostage in Gaza.
Blinken arrived Monday in Israel and has spent most of his time attempting to pressure the Israelis to open up Gaza for humanitarian aid.
Netanyahu's approach using the siege is supported by both the right and left in Israel.
Last week opposition leader Benny Gantz joined in a unity government with Netanyahu, stating, "We are all in this together. We are all enlisting. This is not a political partnership, but rather a unity of fate. This is the time to close ranks and to win."
On Friday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus penned a letter to Biden and Blinken urging them to push Israel to create a humanitarian corridor into Gaza.
"We are deeply concerned about the order to evacuate over a million civilians out of northern Gaza and the devastating humanitarian consequences that would ensue," the lawmakers wrote.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., issued her own statement calling for an "immediate de-escalation and ceasefire to save countless civilian lives, no matter their faith or ethnicity."
On Sunday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, seemed to echo the progressive lawmakers' concerns.
During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," he said people in Gaza deserved "access to water and medicine and food. And we are working actively to ensure that happens," he said.
The State Department also announced it named diplomat David Satterfield as a special envoy for "Middle East humanitarian issues," with marching orders to "facilitate the provision of life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people and promote the safety of civilians."
Sources in Israel tell Newsmax that Biden administration officials have even hinted at holding up aid to Israel if water and other aid is not opened for Gaza.
Biden seemed to carefully toe the line of showing support for the U.S. strongest ally in the Middle East while keeping the far left members of his party happy.
According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, a majority of Americans don't approve of how the president is handling the conflict. About two in five approve of how Biden has handled the war between Israel and Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likely won't be deterred to stand down even if the request comes from the U.S.
The Washington Post reported that he said Israeli soldiers were "ready to take action at any time in order to defeat the bloodthirsty monsters who have risen against us to destroy us."
Marisa Herman ✉
Marisa Herman, a Newsmax senior reporter, focuses on major and investigative stories. A University of Florida graduate, she has more than a decade of experience as a reporter for newspapers, magazines, and websites.
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