Harris to Push for Pause in Fighting in Meeting With Top Israeli Official

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has emerged as one of the leading voices for Palestinians in closed-door meetings at the White House, is expected to press for a pause in fighting in Gaza with a member of Israel’s war cabinet, Benny Gantz, at the White House on Monday afternoon.

The vice president is also expected to emphasize the urgency of securing a hostage deal and reducing the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded alongside Israel’s war against Hamas in response to its Oct. 7 attacks, according to a White House official who shared details of her plans on the condition of anonymity.

The official said Ms. Harris would discuss postwar plans for Gaza that include the Palestinian Authority, reiterate U.S. goals to increase aid to the region through airdrops of food that began on Saturday and express concern for the more than one million displaced Palestinians in Rafah, in southern Gaza, as Israel prepares to deploy ground forces there.

Although Ms. Harris has not strayed too far from Mr. Biden’s war message, in a speech on Sunday she took a tougher tone in demanding an “immediate cease-fire.” Still, she directed her remarks at Hamas, not Israel’s leadership, and repeated that she and the president remained “unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security.”

But in meetings at the White House she has been forceful in urging the administration not to dismiss the anger from Palestinian Americans and others in the United States, who argue that Mr. Biden has not done enough to prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in Gaza, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Her remarks are a shift in the administration’s public position on Gaza and are meant in part to address a deepening political liability for Mr. Biden as he campaigns for re-election this year. In Michigan last week, about 150,000 voters in the Democratic primary cast ballots for “uncommitted,” many of them to register anger about the president’s unwavering support for Israel.

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