Jason Clare says Israel not doing enough to protect civilians as Joe Biden warns US may remove future support

Kimberley Caines
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Mr Clare criticised Israel for Ms Frankcom’s death, saying it was not a one-off, as almost 200 aid workers had been killed so far.
Mr Clare criticised Israel for Ms Frankcom’s death, saying it was not a one-off, as almost 200 aid workers had been killed so far. Credit: Darren England AAP, Supplied

Cabinet minister Jason Clare says it’s clear Israel is not doing enough to protect innocent lives in Gaza and is calling for the suffering and war to stop.

US President Joe Biden has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America’s ongoing policy would depend on Israel better protecting civilians and aid workers.

It comes after Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom was one of seven people killed in Gaza on Monday when their vehicle was struck by an air strike.

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Mr Clare criticised Israel for Ms Frankcom’s death, saying it was not a one-off, as almost 200 aid workers had been killed so far.

“It’s obvious that Israel is not doing enough to protect the lives of innocent people so we do need a full investigation here,” Mr Clare told Sunrise.

“I want the war to stop. I want the suffering to stop. I want Israel to hear what countries around the world are saying.”

Hours earlier, Mr Biden had a phone call with the Israeli Prime Minister and made it clear that what happened was “unacceptable” and that he wanted Israel to implement concrete steps to minimise civilian harm.

Failing this, he said the US would reassess its policy on supplying weapons to Israel for the war with Hamas.

“He made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps,” a readout issued by the White House after the call said.

Mr Netanyahu’s office later said Israel had approved steps to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including the temporary reopening of a key crossing that was destroyed in the October 7 attack.

epa11244946 US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 26 March 2024.  EPA/SAMUEL CORUM / POOL
US President Joe Biden has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America’s ongoing policy would depend on Israel better protecting civilians and aid workers. Credit: SAMUEL CORUM / POOL/EPA

The White House said the US was “prepared to work in full coordination with the Government of Israel, the governments of Jordan and Egypt, the United Nations, and humanitarian organisations, to ensure that these important steps are implemented”.

“And (that they) result in a significant increase in humanitarian assistance reaching civilians in dire need throughout Gaza over the coming days and weeks,” the White House statement read.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earlier this week said Australia was demanding “full accountability” for the death of Ms Frankcom.

Australia has now been handed a report by the Israeli military into the killing of Ms Frankcom, which is expected to be made public within 24 hours.

Israel Defence Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the military was sorry for the “very grave mistake” of “misidentification”.

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