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Biden Will Visit Israel Wednesday To Show ‘Steadfast Support’ Followed By Meeting With Arab Leaders In Jordan

Topline

President Joe Biden will visit Israel Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the country ahead of its looming ground offensive into Gaza, followed by a visit to Jordan where he will meet Arab leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

US President Joe Biden speaks during the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner at the Washington … [+] Convention Center in Washington, DC.

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

The White House said Biden’s visit to Israel is an effort to “demonstrate his steadfast support” for the country in the face of Hamas’ terror attack last week.

Biden’s visit was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is in Israel and said Biden will express his solidarity and “ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security.

Blinken said Biden’s visit will also serve as a warning to other actors in the region—both state and non-state—against taking advantage of the ongoing crisis to attack Israel.

Biden will briefed during his visit on Israel’s war aims and the measures it’s taking to minimize civilian casualties and allow aid deliveries to Gaza.

After Israel, Biden will travel to Jordan to meet the country’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In his meeting with the Arab leaders, Biden will “reiterate” that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and aid for civilians in Gaza, the White House said.

Crucial Quote

On Israel’s reticence to allow aid to flow into Gaza despite warnings of a grave humanitarian crisis in the territory, Blinken said: “We share Israel’s concern that Hamas may seize or destroy aid entering Gaza, or otherwise preventing it from reaching the people who need it. If Hamas in any way blocks humanitarian assistance from reaching civilians, including by seizing the aid itself, we’ll be the first to condemn it and we will work to prevent it from happening again.”

News Peg

After Blinken’s announcement, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Washington had been “crystal clear” about the need to ensure humanitarian aid to Gaza and it has been a “consistent call” by Biden and his administration. Egypt has criticized Israel’s unwillingness to allow aid to flow into Gaza. On Monday, El-Sisi met with Blinken and raised concern that citizens of Gaza were receiving “collective punishment” for Hamas’ actions.

What To Watch For

The U.S. and Israel are coordinating to set up “safe zones” in Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to the territory, the New York Times reported, citing a senior State Department official onboard Blinken’s plane on Tuesday. Former Ambassador David Satterfield, who was appointed special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues by Biden on Monday, will discuss the matter with Israeli authorities and the Biden administration is hoping the aid issue is resolved before Israel begins its ground offensive.

Further Reading

Israel Dismisses Reports Of Ceasefire And Aid After UN Warns Gaza Is Running Out Of Water And Food (Forbes)

Read More

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