On Wednesday, President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Israel with the aim of de-escalating the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has made two trips to Israel since the outbreak of the conflict on October 7, revealed Biden's impending visit during a press conference held at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Blinken emphasized that President Biden will once again make it unequivocally clear, as he has consistently done since the tragic loss of more than 1400 lives, including at least 30 Americans due to Hamas, that Israel has both the right and the responsibility to protect its citizens from Hamas and other terrorist threats, as well as to prevent future attacks. This statement followed an extensive eight-hour meeting between Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden will also focus on developing a plan to ensure the safe delivery of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza. The United Nations has reported that none of its agencies have been able to transport essential supplies like water, food, medical equipment, or fuel into Gaza since the conflict began. Juliette Touma, Director of Communications for the United Nations Relief Works Agency, described the situation as a "hellhole" and expressed the desperate pleas from those in Gaza.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that Biden's trip to Israel had been carefully evaluated, citing the tense security situation. Earlier on the same day, Blinken had to take shelter in a bunker twice during his meeting with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv due to air raid sirens, and a U.S. congressional delegation also sought shelter over the weekend.
Kirby stated that on Wednesday, President Biden will travel to Amman, Jordan, where he will meet with Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. During his time in Jordan, Biden will discuss regional security, the release of hostages held by Hamas, and the humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza. Kirby stressed the urgency of starting humanitarian aid deliveries as soon as possible.