Jerusalem/Washington, Oct 16 (EFE).- US President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday to show support for the country amid its war with Hamas, and also visit Jordan to meet with Arab leaders.
In a statement from Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reported that the American president will travel to the country to learn first-hand what it needs “to defend its people” and to show US solidarity and its “strong commitment” to the country’s security.
Biden confirmed the visit on his social media accounts.
“On Wednesday, I’ll travel to Israel to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack,” he wrote on X. “I’ll then travel to Jordan to address dire humanitarian needs, meet with leaders, and make clear that Hamas does not stand for Palestinians’ right to self-determination.”
Blinken made the announcement after a meeting of more than seven hours with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and officials of the Israeli war cabinet.
In a call with reporters held shortly after this announcement, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said that Biden will meet with Netanyahu and other officials.
“We wouldn’t make a trip, obviously, if we did not believe that proper security measures would be in place,” said the spokesperson, who did not detail where Biden will travel to and stated that there will not be a press conference by the US president in Israeli territory.
On the same day, Biden will also visit Amman, Jordan, where he will meet with King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“I think we’ve been crystal clear about the need for humanitarian aid to be able to continue to flow into Gaza — that has been a consistent call by President Biden and certainly by this entire administration,” he said. “We certainly want to see that humanitarian assistance begin to flow as soon as possible.”
The White House reported that Biden spoke by telephone on Monday with Sisi, with whom he discussed “ongoing efforts to alleviate the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, in coordination with the UN, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and other regional partners, and the need to preserve stability in the Middle East more broadly.”
Blinken is in Israel to explore the possible opening of a humanitarian corridor to allow thousands of people to leave the Gaza Strip, while the Israeli Army prepares to enter the enclave.
It is Blinken’s second visit to Israel since the beginning of the war on Oct. 7 between the Israeli government and the Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip led by Hamas.
Monday’s meeting between Blinken and Netanyahu was interrupted by air raid sirens and both had to take refuge in a bunker for several minutes, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters traveling with the secretary.
Once the danger had passed, they resumed in a command center at a headquarters of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, a meeting that lasted almost eight hours. EFE