US President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Israel on Wednesday to demonstrate his steadfast support for the US ally as he is highly concerned that the Israel-Hamas war should not expand into a greater theatre of war in the Middle East as that would have serious repercussions for global trade and supply chains.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is currently in Tel Aviv, announced Biden’s visit following an overnight meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“He’s coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region and for the world,” Blinken was quoted by the USA Today as saying.
Biden’s trip will come almost 11 days after Hamas’ ambushing Israel militarily, leading to retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza. The death toll on both sides of the war has surpassed 4,000 — about 2,800 in Gaza — and more than 10,000 are wounded. Blinken said at least 30 Americans were killed in Israel.
Biden “will again make clear, as he’s done unequivocally”, that Israel “has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people” following the Hamas attack. Biden will travel to Tel Aviv, where he will hold a bilateral meeting with Netanyahu and meet with other Israeli officials, media reports said.
Biden will once again caution Netanyahu he observe all the norms of international warfare not harming civilians as Israel lines up military tanks in a plan to launch a major ground invasion on the Gaza strip. Biden will hear from Israeli leaders on their needs from the U.S. to defend itself.
The White House is seeking approval from Congress to provide military aid to Israel, reports said.
Israel has advised Palestinians in northern Gaza to head south ahead of a ground offensive, prompting concerns that other Middle East adversaries could join the conflict, USA Today reported.
“President Biden will underscore our crystal-clear message to any actor, state, or non-state trying to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel. Don’t,” Blinken said.