Joe Biden contemplates visit to Israel amidst impending Gaza invasion

| Updated: 16 October, 2023 6:35 pm IST
Biden weighs Israel trip as Gaza conflict looms.

NEW DELHI: There’s a possibility that US President Joe Biden could make a visit to Israel in the near future, despite the nation’s preparations for a potential ground incursion into Gaza.

As per an anonymous senior administration source who spoke to the Associated Press on Sunday, the President of the US has not revealed any formal travel plans to Israel. This comes as the country is in its second week of a conflict with Hamas.

Biden has consistently shown strong support for Israel ever since the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, which led to more than 1,400 casualties, including a minimum of 30 Americans.

But he has also tried to restrain Israel from escalating the conflict by reoccupying Gaza. “I think it’d be a big mistake,” Biden said in an interview with CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ that aired Sunday.

Also Read: Watch: Hamas militants attack Israeli homes, satellite images reveal war’s devastating impact

“Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas, and the extreme elements of Hamas don’t represent all the Palestinian people. And I think that it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza again.”

The president and his administration have refrained from openly condemning Israel or its continuous airstrikes, which have resulted in the deaths of numerous Gaza civilians, including women and children.

Israel provided a 24-hour notice to evacuate one million individuals residing in the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Friday, as they anticipated a forthcoming attack on the area.

A heartbreaking event transpired when an airstrike resulted in the loss of over 70 Palestinian lives, leaving 200 others wounded as they were trying to heed the evacuation directives.

Israel has disavowed any accountability for this assault, further adding to the casualties in the ongoing conflict that has already claimed the lives of approximately 2,400 Palestinians.

Over the past week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has undertaken a diplomatic journey in the Middle East, putting in dedicated efforts to avert the expansion of the conflict with Hamas into a wider regional crisis.

Blinken underscored Israel’s rightful entitlement to protect itself from Hamas attacks, all the while advocating for a prudent strategy that takes into account the safety of civilian populations during their defensive operations.

“I’m confident that Israel is going to act under the rules of war,” Biden said on ‘60 Minutes’.

“There’s standards that democratic institutions and countries go by,” he said. “And I’m confident that there’s going to be an ability for the innocents in Gaza to be able to have access to medicine and food and water.”

The White House has designated David Satterfield, a former ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey, to head the United States’ initiatives aimed at delivering humanitarian aid to “vulnerable individuals across the Middle East.” Satterfield’s arrival in Israel was anticipated for Monday.

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