The arrival of President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv marked a pivotal moment in the ongoing Israel and Hamas conflict as he sought to demonstrate unwavering support for America’s closest ally in the Middle East while navigating the treacherous waters of a rapidly escalating war.
Biden’s visit came just hours after a devastating explosion rocked a hospital in Gaza City, claiming the lives of hundreds of people. As he touched down at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the President immediately addressed the tragic incident that had garnered worldwide attention.
The hospital blast in Gaza killed many
Biden stated during the start of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He said “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” He expressed his condolences and emphasized that there was uncertainty surrounding the cause of the blast, underscoring the need to overcome various challenges.
The hospital blast, which occurred in Gaza, sparked outrage across the globe. The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza attributed the destruction to an Israeli airstrike, while the Israeli military maintained that it resulted from a misfired Palestinian rocket.
Protests erupted in various locations, including major West Bank cities like Ramallah, Beirut in Lebanon, and Amman in Jordan, where demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Embassy to voice their anger.
Joe Biden sympathises amidst the Isreal and Hamas conflict
During his meeting with Netanyahu, President Biden conveyed his sorrow and outrage regarding the hospital incident. He thanked the Israeli Prime Minister for his support during these trying times and acknowledged the historic significance of his visit as the first U.S. president to come to Israel during a time of war.
“It is deeply, deeply moving,” Netanyahu remarked, highlighting the depth of President Biden’s personal commitment to Israel’s future and its people.
Biden’s visit unfolded just a week and a half after Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of over 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers. Additionally, 31 Americans lost their lives, with 13 others still missing, and at least 199 individuals were being held hostage by Hamas.
How Joe Biden arrived in Tel Aviv
The President’s arrival prompted an enormous security operation in Tel Aviv, with streets closed off to ensure his safety. The normally bustling beach, offering sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, stood deserted as Biden’s motorcade traversed the city.
President Biden’s itinerary also includes meetings with first responders and families affected by the conflict, including those who have lost loved ones or have family members missing or held hostage. The extent of his interactions with the families of the Americans affected remains uncertain.
Joe Biden’s initial plan to address the insecurities
Following his visit to Israel, President Biden had initially planned to travel to Jordan for a summit involving King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The purpose of the summit was to address the humanitarian needs of Gaza civilians. However, this four-way meeting was canceled following the tragic hospital blast.
In a statement issued during his flight to Israel, President Biden expressed his desire for his national security team to investigate the hospital incident. He reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to protecting civilian lives during conflicts and mourned the loss of patients, medical staff, and innocent individuals affected by the tragedy.
Biden’s discussions with Netanyahu and Israel’s war cabinet were expected to focus on assessing Israel’s needs and discussing the country’s broader strategy in the ongoing conflict. While approaching these discussions as a friend and staunch ally of Israel, Biden was also set to pose critical questions to address the complex situation.
President Joe Biden’s experiences from the U.S. invasion of Iraq and his understanding of the challenges posed by extended occupations and the separation of terrorists from civilians were considered valuable assets in his approach to the conflict.
Despite the challenging circumstances, there was optimism that humanitarian aid would begin flowing to civilians in Gaza, with an emphasis on its prompt and sustained delivery. As President Joe Biden navigates this complex Isreal and Hamas crisis, the world watches closely, hoping for a path to peace and stability in the region.
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