Trump says Israel ‘losing PR war’ in Gaza, should finish war ‘fast’

Former US President criticises Israel for releasing ‘most heinous’ videos of air strikes in Gaza.

US President Donald Trump has warned that Israel is losing international support for its war in Gaza [Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

Former United States President Donald Trump has warned that Israel is “losing the PR war” in Gaza because of the flood of distressing images coming out of the enclave.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump criticised Israel for releasing the “most heinous” and “most horrible” videos of buildings being destroyed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

“And people are imagining there’s a lot of people in those buildings … and they don’t like it, and I don’t know why they released, you know, wartime shots like that,” Trump said.

“I guess it makes them look tough. But to me, it doesn’t make them look tough. They’re losing the PR war. They’re losing it big. But they’ve got to finish what they started, and they’ve got to finish it fast, and we have to get on with life.”

Asked if he was still with Israel “100 percent”, Trump did not answer directly, but said Israel should get the war “over with fast” and  “get back to normalcy”.

“And I’m not sure that I’m loving the way they’re doing it, because you’ve got to have victory. You have to have a victory, and it’s taking a long time,” he said.

Trump has described himself as the most pro-Israel president in US history, pointing to his decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.

But Trump has also harshly criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who provoked the Republican’s ire when he acknowledged US President Joe Biden was rightfully elected in 2020.

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom last month, Trump issued a similar warning about Israel losing international support as the conflict dragged on.

Trump has also criticised Biden’s policy on the Gaza war, even claiming that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate Israel”, although he has not outlined in concrete terms how he would approach the conflict differently.

On Thursday, the White House said Biden had warned Netanyahu in a phone call that continuing US support for the war would depend on “specific, concrete, and measurable steps” to protect civilians.

Biden’s warning, his strongest yet to the staunch US ally, came after the Israeli military killed seven aid workers employed by US-based charity World Central Kitchen, including a US-Canadian citizen.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies