President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s phone call on Thursday will mark the two leaders’ first phone call since an Israeli airstrike killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza.

In the aftermath of those deaths, Biden is “angry” and “increasingly frustrated” – and fully prepared to make all of that known to Netanyahu in their conversation, according to a senior administration official.

“He will express those frustrations,” they said.

White House officials have emphasized in the wake of the aid workers’ deaths that the US’ stance in supporting Israel’s current military operation remains unchanged.

There has simply been no “shift in policy,” the senior administration official said. “What there has been is a shift is the president’s frustrations.”

While the deaths of the World Central Kitchen aid workers will serve as the urgent backdrop for Thursday’s call, Biden is also expected to discuss with Netanyahu a number of other issues in addition to the need to better protect humanitarian aid workers in Gaza. They include ramping up humanitarian aid entering Gaza, the ongoing hostages and ceasefire deal talks, as well as the US’ concerns about a potential ground incursion into Rafah.

The Biden administration, in private conversations with the Israel Defense Forces and members of the Israeli government, has demanded that the military make changes to the way information is transmitted about where aid workers are stationed, according to a US official, and the president plans to communicate that in no uncertain terms in his phone call Thursday with Netanyahu.

“Either the information [about the convoy] didn’t make it past the targeting team, or it was disregarded. Either way it’s a problem,” the US official told CNN.

Israel has taken responsibility for the attack, with Netanyahu saying Tuesday that Israeli forces had “unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” World Central Kitchen said it had coordinated the convoy’s movements with the Israeli military.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant instructed forces on Tuesday to “maintain an open and transparent line of communication” with international organizations on actions being taken after the attack on the convoy.

Gallant also ordered that a “joint situation room” be opened “promptly” to coordinate aid distributions between international organizations and the IDF’s Southern Command, according to a media statement published after Gallant held a meeting with senior Israeli defense officials.

As the rhetoric from the White House intensifies, it’s become increasingly divorced from the Biden administration’s stated policy on Israel, which continues to receive steadfast, unconditioned support in the form of billions of dollars of military aid.

Asked why there had not been “consequences” for Israel as a result of the strike, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We are having conversations with the Israeli government … those conversations have been tough.”

CNN’s Allegra Goodwin, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Jack Forrest contributed to this report.


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