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Biden in Tel Aviv confirms full support for Netanyahu. Demonstrations across the Middle East, and the evacuation of Israeli embassies

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US President Joe Biden’s very delicate mission in the Middle East began as he landed this morning in Tel Aviv, Israel, eleven days after the Hamas terrorist attack in the south of the country and the day after the Al-Ahly Club massacre. Anglican Hospital and Arab Baptist Hospital in Gaza. He was received on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. Immediately afterward, Biden moved to a hotel in Tel Aviv, where he spoke to the media alongside Netanyahu: “America is mourning and crying with you” over the dramatic attack on him, Biden said, addressing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Biden added that Hamas committed “atrocities that seem more plausible compared to those committed by ISIS,” and that this terrorist group “does not represent the Palestinian people, and always brings suffering.” The US President wanted to reiterate all the support and solidarity offered by his administration and the American people: “The United States will provide Israel with what is necessary to defend itself: the courage of the Israeli people has been amazing.”

The attack on the Gaza Hospital and Biden’s support for the Israeli version

Biden then wanted to declare his support for the Jewish state also regarding yesterday’s attack on the hospital in Gaza, giving credence to the version that the Israeli government and army have continued to repeat since last night: “I am deeply saddened and very angry.” As a result of the explosion that occurred yesterday in a hospital in Gaza. Based on what I saw, it looks like the other side did it, not you. “But there are a lot of people who are unsure, so we have a lot to overcome,” Biden said. In any case, the US President explained, “The United States will give Israel what it needs to defend itself: The courage of the Israeli people has been amazing.” In response to a question about what makes him so confident that Israel is not involved in yesterday’s attack on a Gaza hospital, Biden replied: “The data that the Department of Defense presented to me.” The United States has an independent assessment that it was a missile fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad that missed the target and hit the hospital in Gaza: two senior US officials told NBC.

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Netanyahu’s words and the meeting with the war government

Netanyahu said in response to Biden, thanking him for America’s support after the very serious attack he was subjected to: “October 7 is relatively equivalent to 20 times September 11.” “We have seen your support every day. A clear message to our enemies. The world saw that clearly.” Netanyahu also emphasized the importance of Biden’s visit today, saying: “Your visit here is the first by an American president to Israel during a time of war.” After the joint statements, Biden participates in the meeting of the Israeli war cabinet headed by Netanyahu. During the day, he must meet With the families (including) of American citizens who were held hostage by Hamas and who are now prisoners in Gaza, as well as Rachel Edri, a citizen of Ofakim, in southern Israel, who on Saturday, October 7, distracted five Hamas terrorists who entered her apartment until Israeli rescue forces arrived. She and her family were freed.

Demonstrations in the Middle East

As Biden continues his visit to Israel, protests are erupting in Arab communities in the neighboring Middle East against the attack on the hospital and, more generally, against the bombing of the Gaza Strip. The newspaper reported in the afternoon Yedioth AhronothThe Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the evacuation of employees of its embassies in Morocco and Egypt due to local demonstrations. In addition to this, there is a state of alert declared in all Israeli embassies around the world. In Amman, Jordan, about 5,000 people gathered to demonstrate near the Israeli embassy. In Beirut, Lebanon, clashes and violence occurred near the US Embassy, ​​as the army attacked demonstrators and used batons, tear gas, and water cannons. The wave of anger in the Islamic world extended to Istanbul, where thousands of citizens demonstrated throughout the night in front of the Israeli consulate. Even in Italy, there are several pro-Palestine demonstrations planned today in Italian cities, starting with Naples, Genoa, Siena, and Brescia.

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Shifting responsibility for the hospital massacre

In the wake of the Anglican Hospital massacre, Israel and Hamas remain at loggerheads over who is responsible for what happened. As for the Gaza militia, the responsibility lies with Israel, which continued to bomb Gaza “even after the criminal attack on the hospital.” Israel claims that the explosion was caused by a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and that it has audio and technological evidence to support this reconstruction. What is certain is that hundreds of people lost their lives in the missile explosion, and the massacre shocked world leaders. This morning, the Kremlin described the attack on the hospital as a “horrific crime and inhumane act,” while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on Israel to provide satellite images proving its involvement in the facts. While Joe Biden, while already heading to the region, said that he “felt angry and deeply saddened by the explosion” in the hospital and the “heavy losses that resulted from it.” The American President added, in a statement issued from his presidential plane, that he spoke immediately upon hearing the news with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan, and that he asked his advisors to “continue collecting information about what happened.” “It happened exactly.”

US sanctions on members of Hamas

America imposes sanctions on 10 Hamas members. This is communicated US Department of TreasuryHe stressed that the sanctions target those who finance the group in Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria and Qatar.

Guterres’ call

Meanwhile, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, run by Hamas, the death toll from Israeli army attacks on the Gaza Strip has risen to at least 3,478 dead and more than 12,000 wounded since the fighting began. It is also for this reason that UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking this morning from Beijing, called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” considering that the conflict between Israel and Hamas and Israel “affects civilians and causes dire consequences,” as the attack also demonstrated. In the hospital, which Guterres said he was “shocked” by. The UN Secretary-General explicitly asked the Israeli authorities to refrain from imposing “collective punishment on the Palestinian people,” which is not justified by Hamas’ crimes, and to “immediately allow unlimited humanitarian access to respond to the most urgent needs.” primary schools for the population of Gaza, which consists of the vast majority of women and children.” Guterres forcefully noted that “there are too many human lives and the fate of the entire region at stake.”

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Saudi Arabia tells its citizens: “Leave Lebanon immediately.”

According to Al Arabiya, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Lebanon called on its citizens to “leave Lebanese territory immediately.”

Israel and the “humanitarian zone” for civilians in Gaza

A few hours later, the first partial response arrived from Israel regarding this issue. In fact, the army announced that a “humanitarian zone” would be established in the Al-Mawasi area, south of the Strip, where international humanitarian aid would be provided. This announcement, accompanied by a call for civilians to move to that area, will be the result of days of discussions with the United States and Egypt to create a safe zone for the residents of Gaza. At the same time, the Israeli army announced that it had killed two senior Hamas leaders in recent attacks on the Strip: the first was Muhammad Awadallah, commander of the anti-tank missile system in the Gaza City Brigade; The second is Akram Hijazi of the Hamas naval force, who is responsible for directing terrorist attacks on Israel from Gaza.

Abu Mazen got angry

On the other hand, Abu Mazen spoke again from Ramallah, confirming that he left Jordan after canceling the Amman summit scheduled for today “after the Gaza massacre.” As for the Palestinians, they “will not accept another.” The Nakba “We will not leave our land, and no one will expel us,” the head of the Palestinian National Authority repeated.

Image credits: EPA/Miriam Alster | Meeting between Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel (October 18, 2023)

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