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Biden Calls Netanyahu An 'A--hole,' Says 'Enough' To Israeli Bombardment of Gaza

Private statements underscore the widening rift between the two leaders as the Gaza offensive surpasses 120 days

Biden Calls Netanyahu An 'A--hole,' Says 'Enough' To Israeli Bombardment of Gaza

President Joe Biden has been privately excoriating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the military bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which has now extended beyond 120 days.

In response to the Oct. 7 attack that killed around 1,100 people, Israel’s military campaign has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, roughly 75 percent of whom are women and children noncombatants.

More than 12,300 Palestinian children and about 8,400 women are among those killed. Israel claims it has killed around 10,000 Hamas fighters, though no evidence has been provided.

The military offensive has displaced more than 80 percent of the population (1.7 million people), destroyed more than 70,000 housing units, and damaged nearly 300,000 housing units.

“He just feels like this is enough,” an unnamed official told NBC News of the views expressed by Biden. “It has to stop.”

In recent weeks, Biden’s tone toward Netanyahu has grown harsher, even privately referring to him as an “a--hole,” according to three unnamed officials in the Biden administration.

When asked about Biden’s private discussions, a National Security Council spokesperson said, “The president has been clear where he disagrees with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but this is a decades-long relationship that is respectful in public and in private.”

The two leaders have increasingly been at odds over the direction of the conflict, with the Biden administration calling for a two-state solution and Israel firmly opposing.

New revelations about Biden’s private criticism of Netanyahu come as Israel has begun attacking Rafah, which it previously herded Palestinians into, after designating it a “safe zone.”

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the airstrikes purportedly targeting Hamas fighters, while international concern continues to grow over Israel’s planned ground invasion of Rafah.

Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, calls the planned incursion “terrifying” and says it risks “atrocity crimes” being committed.

"A potential full-fledged military incursion into Rafah — where some 1.5 million Palestinians are packed against the Egyptian border with nowhere further to flee – is terrifying, given the prospect that an extremely high number of civilians, again mostly children and women, will likely be killed and injured," Turk said.

According to a Biden administration official who spoke with NBC, Biden told Netanyahu on a phone call that he believes “a military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible and executable plan” to protect and support Palestinians who are seeking shelter there.

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