Joe Biden to visit Israel and Jordan on October 18
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed that U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Israel and Jordan on Wednesday, October 18
Blinken announced the visit at the end of a more than seven-hour meeting with Israel's military cabinet. The Secretary of State's latest stop in Israel is part of his seven-nation tour of the Middle East, as Israel appears poised for a ground invasion of Gaza and the conflict threatens to spread to other parts of the region.
During his visit to Israel, 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.
According to Blinken, during his visit on Wednesday, Biden will "reaffirm the United States' solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security."
"President Biden will again make clear, as he's done unequivocally since the Hamas slaughter of more than 1,400 people, including at least 30 Americans, that Israel has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists and to prevent future attacks," Blinken said.
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," Blinken said.
In addition to his visit to Israel on Wednesday, the president will also travel to Jordan, the United States' closest and crucial ally. There, he will meet with a group of Middle East leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told reporters that Biden's visit to Jordan will focus on humanitarian assistance amid the deepening crisis.
According to Kirby, the entire trip will take place “over the course of a single day.”
The day before, Biden said that Israel must destroy the Hamas terrorist group, but the Palestinian state and government must be preserved.
The war in Israel
On the morning of Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Palestinian armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a massive air and land attack on the state of Israel in several places. The head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif, said that his militants had launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. According to him, these actions are intended to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians launched 2,000 to 3,000 missiles at Israel and simultaneously seized 7 communities in the south.
In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced the mobilization of reservists and the launch of the Iron Swords counterterrorism operation. For the first time in 50 years, the government introduced martial law in the country.
The IDF actively used aviation to strike Palestinian command posts. It has also begun clearing Hamas-occupied communities.
In addition, there is a great threat that the Shiite Hezbollah could attack Israel from the north, as its main partner and supplier, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), has called on jihadists to "liberate Jerusalem."
On the morning of October 8, the Saudi television channel Al Arabiya published the losses of both Palestinians and Israelis during the first day of the renewed military conflict. According to the channel, Israel lost 300 people killed and at least 1,600 wounded. The number of casualties from the Palestinian-populated Gaza Strip is 232 killed and 1,627 wounded.
On October 8, Israeli troops claimed that Lebanon had attacked their territory, so the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacked in response. In particular, Israeli aviation struck a complex belonging to the head of Hamas' intelligence.
Militants of the Lebanese military-political organization Hezbollah fired at Israeli positions on the border with the disputed Golan Heights and supported Hamas in its operation against Israel.
Due to the situation in the Middle East, the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting. However, no action or decisions were taken after it. At the same time, the UK government stated that it would support Israel in its fight against terrorists and was ready to provide it with all necessary assistance.
On the afternoon of October 9, the Israeli army regained control of all areas on the border with the Gaza Strip. At this, it is possible that there are still Hamas militants on Israeli territory.
The leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy issued a joint statement expressing their united support for Israel and condemning Hamas' actions.
On Thursday, October 12, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
At the same time, after almost a week of IDF strikes on the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian militants Hamas are based, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that this was only the beginning.
On the morning of Sunday, October 15, the pro-Iranian Shiite group from Lebanon, Hezbollah, launched a rocket attack on the IDF base of Al-Raheb on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
For the first time in history, an entire city has been evacuated in Israel. Deputy Mayor Elad Kalimi said that almost two-thirds of the population had already left the city, and several thousand more would do so in the near future.
On October 17, local media reported that humanitarian aid convoys were moving from Egypt to the border with Gaza.