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House GOP leaders say Biden conditioning US support for Israel will ‘benefit Hamas’

House Republican leadership is blasting President Biden after he suggested the U.S. could curb its support for Israel if it did not do more to protect civilians in Gaza.

‘There’s only one group of people who stand to benefit from conditions to Israel aid, and that is Hamas. Once again, Joe Biden is empowering barbaric terrorists by undermining our strongest ally in the Middle East,’ House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told Fox News Digital on Friday.

Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Thursday as the president faced growing pressure from the left to do more for civilians in Gaza. The White House said Biden ‘made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers’ and that ‘U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.’

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital when asked about the possibility of President Biden curbing military aid to Israel, ‘It is completely unacceptable for Joe Biden to demand that our most precious ally Israel surrender to Hamas terrorists.’

‘Israel has every right to defend itself. House Republicans will continue to fight so that they have the resources needed to complete their mission,’ Stefanik said.

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for clarification on Biden’s comments and a response to the House GOP leaders’ criticism. 

Progressives have for months pushed Biden to curb military aid to Israel, accusing the Middle Eastern country of running afoul of U.S. policies on humanitarian support with its campaign in Gaza. More Democrats joined that wave in the wake of an Israeli military airstrike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers in central Gaza this week. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said on the Democrat-friendly program ‘Pod Save America,’ ‘From a moral perspective and from a political perspective, I hope very much that what he’s saying today really does indicate a change in policy.’

But Republicans and some moderate Democrats have argued that the U.S. weakening its support for Israel is a victory for Hamas. GOP lawmakers blasted Biden after the White House said he urged Netanyahu to call ‘an immediate cease-fire…to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians.’

‘The president’s ultimatums should be going to Hamas, not Israel,’ Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., wrote on X on Thursday. ‘Hamas resisted a ceasefire, brought about needless bloodshed, and refuses to release Israeli and American hostages. Biden should not undercut our ally amidst an existential threat by conditioning our support.’

Republicans in the Senate similarly hit back at Biden on social media.

‘Today, Hamas launched another salvo of rockets toward civilians in Israel while President Biden declared he wants to change policy toward Israel. We all want the peace and protection of civilians, but you cannot pacify terrorists,’ Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said on X.

Sen. John Barrasso, R–Wyo., said President Biden ‘needs to support Israel’s fight to protect its people and defeat terrorists.’

‘He will fall on the wrong side of history if he turns his back on our ally,’ he said.

Israel has been at war with Hamas in Gaza since shortly after Oct. 7, when militants from the terrorist group invaded southern Israel and killed more than 1,200 people — mainly civilians.

The Palestinian death toll since Oct. 7 is over 30,000, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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