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  /  News   /  Biden, Netanyahu to speak Thursday: source

Biden, Netanyahu to speak Thursday: source

(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden will speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, a U.S. official with knowledge of the meeting told NewsNation on Wednesday.

The scheduled conversation is set to take place as the war between Israel and Hamas wages on and calls for a ceasefire have not resulted in a stop in the fighting thus far.

Biden’s administration was “outraged” earlier this week after an Israeli airstrike killed seven World Central Kitchen members.

“The Prime Minister and the IDF have noted that it was their error,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said. “They’re investigating it. Let them do that work and let them see what they come up with, and then we’ll go from there.”

Biden and his administration have publicly and privately urged Israel for months to refrain from a large-scale incursion into Rafah without a credible plan to relocate and safeguard noncombatants. Netanyahu has insisted that Israeli forces, which are trying to eradicate Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, must be able to enter the city to root out the group’s remaining battalions.

Additionally, Iranian leaders renewed their promises to hit back after an airstrike widely blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s Consulate in Syria, killing 12 people, including two elite Iranian generals. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Wednesday the attack “will not remain without answer.”

The U.S. is concerned the deadly strike in Damascus could trigger new attacks on American troops by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, the top U.S. Air Force commander for the Middle East.

Israel faces growing isolation as international criticism mounts over its killing of six foreign aid workers this week who were helping deliver desperately needed food in Gaza. The United Nations says much of the population in northern Gaza is on the brink of starvation.

Israel’s war in Gaza has killed nearly 33,000 Palestinians, the territory’s Health Ministry says. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead. The war began on Oct. 7, when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.