VP Kamala Harris, Not Biden, Called Jordan’s King Abdullah About Israel-Gaza Deal

On behalf of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to Jordanian King Abdullah II on Thursday to brief him on US efforts to support a truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Since Hamas started firing rockets into Israel from Gaza last week following clashes in Jerusalem, the Democratic President has reportedly not spoken with the Arab nation’s leader — and tasked Harris instead to speak with him instead.

“I spoke with Jordan King Abdullah II to reaffirm our support and express our commitment to continued close cooperation,” VP Harris wrote on her social media.

“I briefed him on our intensive diplomatic efforts to support the path to a ceasefire in Gaza. The U.S. and Jordan will continue working to de-escalate tensions,” she added.Completing this poll entitles you to TheScoop.us updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime with a single click. Here's our Privacy Policy.

A White House readout noted that Biden’s VP and King Abdullah “discussed the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

The New York Post wrote that it is unclear why Harris placed the call rather than Biden, who has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at least six times in recent days, including a call Wednesday to compel Jerusalem to begin “significant de-escalation” of the escalating conflict with Hamas militants.

He also reportedly spoke with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas more than once, demanding an end to the conflict which killed at least 227 people in Gaza and 12 in Israel.

The Democratic President also made his first call since the stand-off broke out to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — following reports that Egypt brokered the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. Biden reportedly “pledged support” for a cease-fire.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that Israel has agreed to a mutual, unconditional ceasefire to begin in less than two hours,” Biden said on Thursday. “The Egyptians have now informed us that Hamas and the other groups in Gaza have also agreed.”

The ceasefire, brokered by Egypt — but being taken credit for by the Biden administration — occurred as Netanyahu announced that Israel had accepted the proposal but emphasizing that “the reality on the ground will determine the future of the campaign.”

On Wednesday, Netanyahu refused Biden’s appeal for “major de-escalation,” but the cease-fire that was eventually settled went into effect at 2 a.m. Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also reportedly headed to the Middle East in the “coming days” also to discuss recovery efforts.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was caught on the defensive when NBC News reporter Kristen Welker asked if Biden’s delay in communicating with Sisi may have extended the conflict.

This is not the first time that Harris  takes a call with a world leader — instead of Biden.

Harris reportedly spoke with the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, as well as French President Emanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in separate occasions earlier.

Critics earlier hit this practice saying that under the Biden administration, the vice president seemed to have “an unusually larger role” in shaping the country’s foreign policy.

 

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