U.S. President Joe Biden will head to Israel Wednesday, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following his marathon meeting with Israel’s prime minister that ended in the early hours Tuesday.
“He’s coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region and for the world,” Blinken said.
In Washington, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Biden would visit Tel Aviv and continue the same day to Amman, Jordan, where he will meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The White House said President 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.
Blinken also said that a possible breakthrough in getting humanitarian assistance to besieged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was reached in his seven-and-a-half-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Today, and at our request, 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 – and them alone — including the possibility of creating areas to help keep civilians out of harm’s way,” Blinken said in a brief statement to reporters.
He said it is critical that aid begin flowing into Gaza as soon as possible, but expressed concern that Hamas militants may try to seize supplies or prevent their distribution.
Palestinians in Gaza have been without electricity and under a complete Israeli siege with no food, fuel or water allowed into the Hamas-controlled territory since last Monday (Oct. 9). Israel says it imposed the blockade in response to the deadly terrorist attack Hamas launched on Israeli towns on October 7, which killed more than 1,300 Israelis. Nearly 200 others were taken hostage by the terror group.