President of the United States, Joe Biden, will make an unusual wartime visit to Israel this week in order to express his country’s unwavering support for its efforts to remove Hamas while simultaneously advocating for methods to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza. After Hamas militants massacred 1,300 people during a rampage across southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7, the worst single day in Israel’s 75-year history, Biden’s visit will be a significant display of US solidarity for its key Middle East partner.
According to aides, the president has shown a strong desire to travel after being asked over the weekend by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Biden has known for four decades. A presidential visit to Israel carries significant dangers. As Blinken and Netanyahu met in Tel Aviv on Monday, air raid sirens wailed, compelling the two men to take cover.
After Hamas militants massacred 1,300 people during a rampage across southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7, the worst single day in Israel’s 75-year history, Biden’s visit will be a significant display of US solidarity for its key Middle East partner. Israel has responded by tightening its blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza, notably by limiting fuel entry and pounding the territory with air strikes, killing thousands of Palestinians and displacing hundreds of thousands more.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Biden’s travel to Israel after hours of negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. Blinken said Biden will meet with Netanyahu, reaffirm Washington’s support to Israel’s security, and receive a thorough briefing on the country’s military goals and strategy.
Blinken said in announcing Biden’s travel on Wednesday that the US and Israel “have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organisations to reach civilians in Gaza.” “(The) president will hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimises civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hamas,” he said.