Clues that Israel is under pressure are surfacing.
In San Francisco, Biden said the Israeli modus operandi in raiding the al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza showed Israel had changed. He said: “It is a different story than I believe was occurring before, an indiscriminate bombing,” implying the US had demanded a different tactic.
Western officials continue to ask searching questions about Israel’s future strategy.
One British diplomat said: “This idea of safe zones [for Gaza civilians] makes us very leery. You have to make sure you do not put people into jeopardy by kettling them into a location. The UN is very leery about safe zones and they are 100% correct because they all remember what happened in Srebrenica, northern Iraq and Rwanda. Yes, you can put a tented camp in the left-hand corner of Gaza, 5km up the coast and 1km in, it might sound good on paper, but the reality on the ground is you cannot do that unless everyone with a gun agrees to respect it.”
Similarly, the raid on the al-Shifa hospital has not been seen in Israel and the American press as quite the slam-dunk moment Biden presented. It was high-risk and high-reward in that it would, according to Israeli claims backed up by the US, reveal Hamas had indeed been using the hospital as a command and control centre.
The evidence produced so far, and the restricted terms on which reporters were allowed to view the evidence discovered inside the hospital, is at best ambiguous, and at worst underwhelming.