Jordan’s foreign minister told state-run television on Tuesday that the four-way summit scheduled for Wednesday with President Joe Biden and others would no longer take place as planned, according to multiple reports after a strike hit a Gaza hospital and killed hundreds.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi told al-Mamlaka TV that the Israel-Hamas war had been “pushing the region to the brink,” the Associated Press reported.
A U.S. official told the New York Times Biden’s stop in Jordan was called off “after consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan” and because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced days of mourning following the airstrike.
The news came shortly after Biden left the White House for Joint Base Andrews to begin his trip to Israel and Jordan, the New York Times reported.
Earlier in the day, Abbas announced he was canceling his meeting with Biden scheduled for Wednesday, citing the airstrike as his reason.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was also set to participate.
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Safadi reportedly said the meeting would be postponed.
“The president sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded,” an unnamed U.S. official said to the Times after confirming Biden’s Jordan summit was called off. “He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days.”
Late Monday night, the White House announced Biden would visit Israel in an effort to “demonstrate his steadfast support” for the country after the war started with Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on October 7. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Biden’s visit would also serve as a warning to others in the region against taking advantage of the ongoing crisis to attack Israel. The airstrike—which happened earlier Tuesday—caused an explosion at a Gaza hospital and reportedly killed hundreds of people. The Palestinian Health Ministry blames Israel for the airstrike, though Israel denies it, claiming Palestinian rockets hit the hospital. The hospital explosion came amid an Israeli counter-offensive in the 10 days since Hamas launched an assault on Israel, killing more than 1,400 Israeli citizens and taking civilian hostages. Throughout the conflict, at least 3,000 Palestinians have been killed.
NytimesIsrael-Hamas War: Israeli Airstrike Hits Gaza Hospital, Killing 500, Palestinian Health Ministry SaysAP NewsAs Biden heads to Israel and Jordan, aid is held up for a Gaza on the verge of total collapseMORE FROM FORBESBiden Will Visit Israel Wednesday To Show ‘Steadfast Support’ Followed By Meeting With Arab Leaders In JordanBy Siladitya RayMORE FROM FORBESIsrael Denies Striking Gaza Hospital-After Palestinian Officials Blame Israeli Airstrike For Killing HundredsBy Brian Bushard