In a recent development of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli Security Cabinet unanimously voted to support a cease-fire Thursday evening. Hamas has also agreed to support a cease-fire, The Associated Press reports. The cease-fire will go into effect at 2a on Friday, local time, but both sides reported different details, Axios says.

  • Israeli officials said the cease-fire was unconditional, but Hamas officials say the cease-fire included commitments about Israeli policies in Jerusalem, reported Axios.

According to Axios, Egypt will continue to negotiate the cease-fire and will send a security delegation to Gaza and Israel to monitor the truce.

The U.S. response to the conflict so far

As the fighting between Israel and Palestine grows deadlier and longer, the Biden administration has begun to shift its response to the conflict. On Wednesday, comments from President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed the first rift between the allies, The Associated Press and The Washington Post report.

  • The U.S. remains a longtime ally of Israel, with Biden publicly supporting Israel’s right to self-defense last Wednesday, Deseret News reported.

The current conflict between Israel and Hamas is the worst since the 2014 Gaza War. The fighting began on May 10 and has led to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel may come very soon, the Deseret News and CNN report.

  • Biden’s response has drawn criticism domestically from Democrats and Republicans, Fox News says.
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How did the Biden administration previously respond?

Since last week, the Biden administration has repeatedly reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas’ attacks. Previously, the Biden administration had not publicly criticized Israel but pursued “quiet, intensive diplomacy,” reports the Deseret News. In three recent meetings of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. delegation blocked otherwise unanimous efforts to reach a formal statement condemning the violence.

  • Wednesday, Biden spoke to Netanyahu on a fourth call, this time demanding “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” per The Washington Post. The demand was unusually blunt.
  • Hours later on Wednesday, Netanyahu did not mention a halt in fighting, saying that Israel was “determined to continue this operation until its objective is achieved: to restore quiet and security to you, citizens of Israel,” per CNN.

According to Egyptian intelligent officials via the AP, the most recent U.S. appeal supports Egyptian truce efforts and aided progress towards a cease-fire. However, Thursday, in an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. continued to block a resolution by France that called for a cease-fire, says the AP and The Hill.

  • Biden’s remarks on Wednesday signaled a significant shift of the Biden administration away from fully supporting Israel, says The Washington Post.
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What have critics said?

Republicans have previously criticized Biden as not supporting Israel enough, said Fox News. Republicans have emphasized Hamas as a terrorist organization, saying that the U.S. is failing to stand with Israel against terrorism.

However, Biden’s party had criticized his earlier stance supporting Israel. The statement on Wednesday was welcomed by Democrats, says The Washington Post. These developments have shown a changing dynamic among the party as increasingly less accepting of the actions Israel has taken for self-defense.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., introduced a resolution Thursday to disapprove of the pending $735 million sale of U.S. precision-guided missiles to Israel, The Washington Post and Fox News report.
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