President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday to discuss with Israeli leadership its plans for a ground offensive in Gaza in response to Hamas’ surprise attacks on its cities last week, and to develop a plan to get aid into Gaza and to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas.
From Israel, Biden will travel to Jordanian capital Amman, where he will meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Announcing his visit, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden will reiterate that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination and discuss the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.
U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken, who is already in the Middle East, and shuttling between countries in the region with diplomatic efforts to ease the situation, explained the details of President’s mission.
“The President will hear from Israel what it needs to defend its people as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs,” Bliken said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
“The President will continue to coordinate closely with our Israeli partners to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas – including men, women, small children, Holocaust survivors, and American citizens – as an indispensable humanitarian effort,” he told reporters.
“Biden will receive a comprehensive brief on Israel’s war aims and strategy.”
Biden will hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hamas.
Blinken said that the United States and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza.
He expressed concern that Hamas may seize or destroy aid entering Gaza or otherwise prevent it from reaching the people who need it.
As the Israeli siege of Gaza continues, the humanitarian situation in the enclave has worsened, reports said.
Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces said its military is returning fire across Lebanon border targeting Hezbollah posts.
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