President Biden to visit Israel at ‘critical moment,’ his second visit to a war zone this year

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  • President Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday amid the escalating war with Hamas.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the visit comes at a “critical moment for Israel.”

  • It will be Biden’s second trip to a war zone in less than a year; he visited Ukraine in February.

President Joe Biden will travel to Israel and neighboring Jordan on Wednesday, top US officials say, a high-stakes visit that comes amid Israel’s escalating war against Hamas.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Monday that the day-long trip to the region will reaffirm America’s support for one of its closest allies.

“He’s coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region, and for the world, ” Blinken said, adding that “the president will reaffirm the United States solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security.”



White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that Biden will “reaffirm our solidarity with Israel, and he will look forward to getting an update from Israeli officials about their strategy and the pace of their military operations. He’ll certainly expert to hear from Israel what they believe they need to continue to defend their people, and so that we can continue to work with Congress to try to meet those needs.”

Biden is scheduled to talk with Israeli officials about the nearly 200 hostages that Hamas is believed to be holding in the Gaza Strip, and learn additional information about the situation and coordinate efforts to secure their release, Kirby said.

The president will also travel to Amman, Jordan, where he’ll meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Jordan’s King Abdullah, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. There, they’ll discuss the humanitarian needs of Gaza’s civilians.

“Innocent civilians are innocent civilians,” Kirby said. “And none of them, no matter what side of the line they live on, or how they call themselves or how they worship deserve to be victims of armed conflict. As I’ve said before, the number of appropriate civilian casualties is zero. And we have been nothing but consistent about that.”

The trip will be just one day long, but “there’s an awful lot on the agenda,” Kirby said. “Again, reiterating that Israel has the right to defend itself and to go after these Hamas terrorists, and that the United States will continue to support them.”

“I would remind that Hamas is deliberately putting innocent civilians at greater risk by setting up road blocks, not letting them move, putting up commanding control headquarters in tunnels underneath their homes and schools and hospitals.”

The trip will be Biden’s second visit to a war zone this year after he made a surprise trip to Ukraine in February just before the country marked one year since Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

This story is developing, check back for more information.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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