As Biden Prepares for Visits to Israel and Jordan, Aid Stagnates for a Gaza on the Brink of Complete Breakdown

by Lucas Garcia
Biden visit to Israel and Jordan

As U.S. President Joe Biden gears up for a trip to the Middle East, American efforts to resolve an impasse over delivering crucial humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip continue. The territory has been under an Israeli blockade following an aggressive assault by Hamas militants.

Unyielding Israeli airstrikes against Gaza persisted into early Tuesday, claiming multiple lives in the southern part of the beleaguered enclave. Israel had previously advised civilians in the north to relocate in anticipation of a forthcoming ground operation.

Injured individuals were rapidly transported to medical facilities following intense bombardments near the southern Gaza cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, according to local reports. Basem Naim, a high-ranking official in Hamas and former health minister, stated that the attacks resulted in 27 fatalities in Rafah and 30 in Khan Younis.

A correspondent for Big Big News observed approximately 50 corpses being taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis since the early hours of Tuesday. Bereaved family members arrived to identify bodies that were shrouded in white bed linens, some stained with blood.

Additional Reports:

  • Gaza Aid Stagnates at Border Prior to Biden’s Visit as Israel Continues Bombardments
  • Arab Leaders Accuse Biden of Neglecting Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • UN Security Council Dismisses Russia’s Gaza Resolution for Omitting Hamas

Israel has maintained a relentless aerial assault on Gaza, governed by Hamas, since a militant attack on southern Israel last week resulted in the deaths of 1,400 individuals, a majority of whom were civilians. Israeli military operations have, thus far, led to at least 2,778 deaths and injured 9,700 in Gaza, as per the local Health Ministry. Despite this, Hamas continues to launch rocket attacks on Israel.

The convergence of unceasing airstrikes, a severe blockade enforced by Israel, and a broad evacuation directive for Gaza’s northern regions has plunged its 2.3 million inhabitants into chaos and escalating hardship.

The United Nations reports that over one million Palestinians have been displaced, with 60% now residing in an approximately 14-kilometer-long area situated south of the designated evacuation zone. Humanitarian workers have cautioned that Gaza is nearing an utter breakdown, struggling with diminishing supplies of essential resources like water and medical provisions, along with dwindling electricity at healthcare centers.

At Rafah, the only point of entry to Gaza from Egypt, trucks laden with aid were in a holding pattern. Numerous civilians, including those with dual citizenship, were anxiously waiting for an opportunity to exit the densely populated territory.

Efforts to negotiate a cessation of hostilities that would reopen the border were underway but complicated. Israel rebutted reports of a ceasefire agreement that would enable the border gates at Rafah to open. As of Tuesday morning, the situation remained static.

A confidential source within the Egyptian government confirmed that both Egypt and Israel had concurred that aid convoys would be inspected at the Kerem Shalom crossing before being admitted into Gaza. A temporary humanitarian ceasefire was also expected, allowing foreign nationals to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Erik Kurilla arrived in Tel Aviv for discussions with Israeli defense officials, preceding President Biden’s planned visit on Wednesday, which is intended to manifest U.S. solidarity with Israel. Biden is also slated to travel to Jordan to engage with Arab dignitaries, amidst apprehensions that hostilities could broaden into a more extensive regional dispute, particularly as tensions escalate on the Israel-Lebanon frontier.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was on his second visit to Israel in a week, announced in Tel Aviv that a cooperative plan to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilian population was in development between the U.S. and Israel. However, specific details remained sparse.

In Gaza, healthcare institutions are on the precipice of losing power, which could result in thousands of fatalities. Hospitals could soon deplete their generator fuel, making life-saving devices like ventilators and incubators inoperative. Amidst this, hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians are in dire need of basic necessities, and doctors, defying risks to their own lives, are refusing to evacuate their posts.

The Israeli military has argued that its evacuation orders are aimed at ensuring civilian safety as it prepares for a large-scale operation against Hamas in the north of Gaza. It asserts that Hamas has an extensive network of tunnels and rocket launchers predominantly located in residential zones.

As the humanitarian crisis intensifies, emergency response teams are striving to rescue individuals while grappling with communication breakdowns, fuel shortages, and the unrelenting threat of airstrikes. In a recent attack, Israeli aircraft targeted the Civil Defense headquarters in Gaza City, causing seven fatalities among paramedics. Another 10 healthcare professionals have been killed in the line of duty.

Tensions have also escalated on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where intermittent exchanges of fire with the Iranian-supported Hezbollah group have occurred. Israel had previously engaged in a protracted conflict with Hezbollah in 2006, which culminated in a tense but enduring ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned both Iran and Hezbollah not to underestimate Israel’s military capabilities. Shortly after his remarks, the legislative chamber of the Israeli Knesset was evacuated due to incoming rocket attacks. Both U.S. and Israeli officials took refuge in secure locations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian cautioned that “preemptive action is possible” should Israel proceed with ground operations. This statement is in line with Iran’s escalating rhetoric, as the nation backs both Hamas and Hezbollah.

Israeli authorities have updated their estimates on hostages taken into Gaza, now putting the number at a minimum of 199. Hamas, meanwhile, claims to be holding between 200 and 250 hostages.

The Israeli media landscape has been dominated by the plight of these hostages. Government officials have pledged to maintain the ongoing blockade on Gaza until the hostages are freed.

In Gaza, where over 400,000 displaced persons are residing in U.N. facilities, the United Nations reports an acute scarcity of essential resources. Hospitals are on the brink of a complete breakdown, and many remain unable or unwilling to evacuate, despite official directives.

Reported by Kullab from Baghdad, Nessman from Jerusalem, Amy Teibel in Jerusalem; Abby Sewell in Beirut; Samy Magdy and Jack Jeffrey in Cairo; and Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden visit to Israel and Jordan

What is the main focus of U.S. President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel and Jordan?

The main focus of President Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel and Jordan is not explicitly stated, but the timing coincides with ongoing Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and a stalling of humanitarian aid to the region. It is likely that these critical issues will be high on the agenda.

What is the current humanitarian situation in Gaza?

Gaza is on the verge of a total collapse according to aid workers. More than 1 million Palestinians have been displaced, hospitals are near the point of losing electricity, and there is a dire shortage of necessities like water and medicine.

What has been the casualty count in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes?

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 2,778 people and wounded 9,700 others in Gaza.

How are Arab leaders reacting to the situation?

Arab leaders have criticized the lack of priority given to Israeli-Palestinian talks by Biden, stating that the region is now paying the price for this neglect.

What is the status of the aid that is supposed to be delivered to Gaza?

Truckloads of aid are currently waiting at the Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only connection to Egypt. An Egyptian official stated that aid convoys at the border would travel into Israel for inspection before being allowed into Gaza.

What actions are being taken by the U.S. to address the crisis?

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has visited Israel for the second time in a week and has said that the U.S. and Israel have agreed to develop a plan to enable humanitarian aid to reach civilians in Gaza.

What is the situation regarding hostages in Gaza?

The Israeli military stated that at least 199 hostages have been taken into Gaza. Hamas claims it is holding 200 to 250 hostages. The plight of these hostages has dominated the Israeli media.

Is there any international intervention to reach a cease-fire?

Mediators are attempting to reach a cease-fire to open the Rafah border, which has been shut down due to Israeli airstrikes. Reports suggest that an agreement was nearly reached, but Israel has denied these reports.

Are there concerns about the conflict escalating into a broader regional issue?

Yes, there are concerns that the fighting could expand into a broader regional conflict, especially as fighting has intensified along Israel’s border with Lebanon.

What is the status of healthcare infrastructure in Gaza?

Hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel imminently. This threatens the functioning of life-saving equipment like incubators and ventilators, putting thousands of lives at risk.

More about Biden visit to Israel and Jordan

  • Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
  • Biden’s Foreign Policy Priorities
  • Casualty Count in Gaza Conflict
  • Arab Leaders on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Status of Humanitarian Aid for Gaza
  • U.S. Diplomacy in Israel-Gaza Crisis
  • Hostage Situation in Gaza
  • Efforts for Cease-fire in Gaza
  • Regional Impact of Israel-Gaza Conflict
  • Healthcare Infrastructure in Gaza

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JohnDoe123 October 17, 2023 - 8:53 am

Wow, this situation’s just goin from bad to worse. Never thought I’d see the day when Gaza would be on the brink of total collapse. Where’s the UN?

WorldAffairsGeek October 17, 2023 - 2:41 pm

With Blinken visiting twice in a week, you’d think there’d be some progress by now. But from the look of things, it’s all still up in the air.

SaraMitchell October 17, 2023 - 3:03 pm

Honestly, the numbers are staggering. Thousands dead, millions displaced. How much more suffering needs to happen before something changes?

Anon_reader October 17, 2023 - 3:16 pm

the hostages part caught my eye. The media’s all over it but what’s actually being done to get them back?

ConcernedCitizen October 17, 2023 - 4:53 pm

What’s shocking is the healthcare situation. Hospitals running out of fuel, it’s like a ticking time bomb.

MiddleEastExpert October 17, 2023 - 10:35 pm

Its not just a Israel-Gaza problem anymore. With Lebanon and Iran in the picture, this could really turn into a regional crisis.

SimpleJoe October 17, 2023 - 11:28 pm

I just hope for peace man. Too much bloodshed and hate. It’s 2023, shouldn’t we be better than this by now?

Realist_1987 October 18, 2023 - 2:27 am

Cease-fire? After all these airstrikes and hostages? Good luck with that.

HumanitarianFirst October 18, 2023 - 3:09 am

Can’t believe the aid is still stuck at the border. These are lives we’re talking about! The world needs to act, and fast.

PoliticalWatcher October 18, 2023 - 3:22 am

Biden’s stepping into a mess. If he doesnt make some real moves, this is gonna blow up in his face, politically speaking.


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