Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Biden mulling over a trip to Israel in the coming days

The trip will be a chance for US President Joe Biden to personally reaffirm the US commitment to the Israeli people. However, the visit will take place amid growing fears of escalation into a wider military conflict.

The president expressed his intention to restrain Israel after the October 7 attack resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people, including 30 US citizens. Biden also condemned a possible second Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip.

I think it’d be a big mistake. 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.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and Hamas won elections a year later.

The Biden administration has refused to condemn Israel and its bombardments, but has called on Israel, Egypt and other countries to allow humanitarian aid and supplies into the escalating conflict zone.

I’m confident that Israel is going to act under the rules of war. There’s standards that democratic institutions and countries go by. 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.

US State Secretary Antony Blinken claimed that “Israel has the right; indeed, it has the obligation to defend itself against these attacks from Hamas and to try to do what it can to make sure that this never happens again.”

The White House also appointed David Satterfield, a former ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey, to manage US efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to “vulnerable people through the Middle East.” Satterfield was expected to arrive in Israel on Monday.

National Security Advisor of the United States, Jake Sullivan, stated that the Biden administration was “simply stating our basic principles – the principles upon which this country is based and all democracies, including Israel, are based.”

It’s what makes us different from the terrorists, that in fact we respect civilian life.

Sullivan also stated that the US did not interfere in Israel’s military planning, nor did it give specific instructions or requests. He emphasised that the US believed “all military operations should be conducted consistent with the law of war, that civilians should be protected, that civilians should have a real opportunity to get to safety.”

During his visit to Egypt, Blinken made it clear that the US would support Israel, and said:

 We will stand with it today, tomorrow and every day and we’re doing that in word and also in deed.

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