Bad Blood Between Biden And Israeli PM Rises
President Joe Biden’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become difficult, with reports revealing that the president hung up on the Israeli prime minister.
🇺🇸🇮🇱 BIDEN HANGS UP ON BIBI
BIDEN: "This conversation is OVER"
Biden and Netanyahu reportedly engaged in a heated phone call, where Biden demanded the release of tax revenues to Palestinians.
Israel halted sending the tax money after Oct 7th, claiming the funds would go… pic.twitter.com/OAu2dP2YPg
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) December 29, 2023
Both men got into a heated conversation over Israel’s refusal to release some tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in October decided to suspend the transfer of all of the tax revenue funds after Hamas’ brutal attack on Oct. 7.
Israel argues the money will be used to fund Hamas’ terror acts. Israel had proposed paying the Palestinian Authority a part of the tax revenues, but the Palestinian Authority refused the proposal and demanded payment in full.
Joe Biden had suggested that the partial funds Israel is keeping go to Norway until an agreement is reached. Israel and the Palestinian Authority had already agreed to the proposal. However, President Biden and Netanyahu had a call on Saturday where the Israeli prime minister backtracked on the agreement.
During the phone call, Netanyahu reportedly told Biden he thinks the Palestinian Authority should accept what funds Israel wants to provide. Netanyahu also said he does not trust Norway.
Netanyahu’s change of position frustrated Biden, who was worried that limiting funds to the area could lead to a collapse and eventually further conflict in the West Bank. Biden reportedly told Netanyahu “This conversation is over” before hanging up.
“The feeling was that the president is going out on a limb for Bibi every day and when Bibi needs to give something back and take some political risk he is unwilling to do it,” one U.S. official told the Axios.
Another U.S. official gave contrasting reports revealing that Israel has not turned down the Norway proposal and that Israeli officials said they are still working through things on their end.