President Biden has planned to make a visit to Israel on Wednesday, as announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The purpose of this visit is to express unwavering support for Israel, a key U.S. ally, which recently declared war against the terrorist organization Hamas following a surprise attack earlier this month.
Secretary Blinken emphasized the critical nature of this visit, stating, “Mr. Biden is coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region, and for the world,” during his address in Israel.
Moreover, Secretary Blinken also unveiled a humanitarian aid plan for Gaza. He explained that the United States and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid from donor nations and multinational organizations to reach civilians in Gaza.
Earlier on Monday, Israel’s government had refuted reports suggesting a cease-fire agreement in parts of the Gaza Strip to allow the inflow of humanitarian aid and the safe evacuation of individuals with international passports into Egypt. Meanwhile, the Israeli military continued its offensive with missile strikes.
Since the commencement of the conflict, over a week ago, initiated by Hamas, there have been devastating consequences. The terror attacks resulted in the loss of approximately 1,400 lives, with around 3,500 people wounded and nearly 200 individuals taken as hostages. Israel has been preparing for an expected ground offensive in Gaza.
Gaza officials have reported that Israel’s bombardment has led to the death of more than 2,800 people and the injury of almost 11,000 others, with a majority of casualties being women and children.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has expressed a commitment to dismantling the Palestinian group Hamas. President Biden has also voiced his support for Israel’s actions against Hamas but cautioned against a full-scale occupation of Gaza, deeming it a significant mistake. The United States has consistently called on Israel to take all possible measures to minimize civilian casualties.
Tragically, in the midst of this turmoil, it has been reported that 30 U.S. citizens have lost their lives in the recent surge of violence in the Middle East, and there are concerns about the safety of approximately 600 U.S. nationals who may be trapped in Gaza. The U.S. State Department has reported that 13 Americans in Israel remain unaccounted for.
The situation in the region remains volatile, with international efforts to address the crisis ongoing.