Israel under pressure from allies over Gaza war

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Israel came under pressure Wednesday from its allies over its war in Gaza, with key backer the United States criticising its bombing in response to the Oct. 7 attacks as “indiscriminate.”

The United Nations General Assembly also overwhelmingly backed a non-binding resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the devastated territory.

The war began after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7 that killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw around 240 hostages taken, according to Israeli authorities.

Vowing to destroy Hamas and to bring the hostages home, Israel launched a withering offensive on Gaza, which is ruled by the militant group.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the war has killed more than 18,400 people, mostly women and children.

The ministry reported Wednesday that at least another 50 people were killed in the latest wave of Israeli air strikes across the territory.

Biden told a campaign event in Washington that Israel had “most of the world supporting it” after the Hamas attack.

“But they’re starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place,” he said.

Speaking later Tuesday at a news conference, Biden toned down his comments.

Reiterating the United States’ support for Israel, he said that “the safety of innocent Palestinians is still of great concern”.

Washington has been calling for weeks for Israel to take more care to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, saying that too many Palestinians have been killed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said there was “disagreement” with Biden over how a post-conflict Gaza would be governed, reflecting a rare rift between the allies.

And the leaders of Australia, Canada and New Zealand — other Israel allies — called for a ceasefire, saying that efforts to destroy Hamas cannot spell “continuous suffering” for Palestinian civilians.

“We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza,” prime ministers Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said in a joint statement.

“The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of all Palestinian civilians.”

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