President Biden Expresses Support for Israel, Implies Responsibility for Gaza Hospital Tragedy Lies Elsewhere

by Michael Nguyen
Visit to Israel

During his recent visit to Israel, President Joe Biden stated unequivocally that the United States remains firmly allied with Israel. In his discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden suggested that the devastating explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip was likely not the work of the Israeli military.

“From the information available, it seems the responsibility falls on other actors, not Israel,” Biden told Netanyahu, while acknowledging that there remains uncertainty surrounding the incident’s true cause.

Although Biden did not elaborate on why he was inclined to absolve Israel of blame, the Health Ministry in Gaza, operated by Hamas, claimed that an Israeli airstrike was the source of the destruction and the subsequent loss of numerous lives. Israel’s military refutes this accusation, instead attributing the incident to a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another militant group that has also disavowed any involvement.

Tensions Escalate in the Region Post-Explosion

Following the horrific event at the Gaza hospital, both Israel and Hamas continue to assign blame to each other as public anger intensifies across the region.

Biden initially intended to proceed to Jordan to engage with Arab leaders, but the gathering was cancelled in the wake of the explosion. During his visit, Biden expressed not just his sorrow over the suffering endured by Israelis but also the dire humanitarian situation confronting Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Biden and Netanyahu Discuss Ongoing Crisis

President Biden conveyed to Netanyahu his deep distress and indignation concerning the hospital catastrophe. He emphasized that Hamas does not speak for all Palestinians and has only caused them more suffering. Biden also discussed the necessity of creating avenues to aid innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire.

In contrast, Biden did not shy away from mentioning the significant loss of life in Israel, recounting the October 7 attack that resulted in 1,400 fatalities, including children. “The American people share in your grief and concern,” he said.

Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for Biden’s visit and praised the President for delineating a stark contrast between “civilized society and acts of barbarism.” He called for a global coalition to defeat Hamas.

Other Regional Reactions and Developments

Outrage over the hospital explosion halted Biden’s scheduled meeting in Jordan with King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. Abbas withdrew his participation, leading to the summit’s ultimate cancellation.

Demonstrations have erupted in key West Bank cities as well as in Beirut, Lebanon, and Amman, Jordan. In Amman, a large crowd gathered near the Israeli Embassy, vocalizing their anger.

The geopolitical landscape appears increasingly unstable, with an ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza and tensions escalating along Israel’s border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah is active.

U.S. Diplomatic Efforts and Regional Concerns

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been engaged in intense diplomatic discussions with both Arab and Israeli leaders. A modest but significant agreement was reached regarding humanitarian aid for Gaza, indicating a shift in Israel’s earlier stance of withholding essential supplies.

Analysts within the U.S. administration caution that Arab nations’ already limited tolerance for Israeli military actions could vanish altogether if the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, potentially fueling greater regional instability.

Contributions to this report were made by correspondents based in Washington, Tel Aviv, Amman, and New York.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden-Israel visit

What was the main purpose of President Biden’s visit to Israel?

The main purpose of President Biden’s visit to Israel was to affirm the United States’ strong alliance with Israel and discuss the ongoing crisis in the region, particularly following a devastating explosion at a hospital in Gaza.

Did President Biden make any comments regarding who might be responsible for the Gaza hospital explosion?

Yes, President Biden suggested that the Israeli military was likely not responsible for the explosion. He made this assessment during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although he did not provide specific details to support this view.

What was the reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Biden’s visit?

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed deep gratitude for President Biden’s visit. He thanked Biden for standing with Israel and highlighted the importance of a global coalition to defeat Hamas.

Was Biden’s scheduled visit to Jordan affected by the events in Gaza?

Yes, President Biden had originally planned to proceed to Jordan to meet with Arab leaders. However, the summit was cancelled due to the escalating crisis, specifically following the explosion at the Gaza hospital.

What has been the regional response to the Gaza hospital explosion?

The incident has led to intensified public anger and protests in various parts of the region, including key West Bank cities, Beirut, Lebanon, and Amman, Jordan. These developments have further strained the geopolitical landscape.

How has the U.S. administration been handling diplomatic efforts?

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been engaged in intense diplomatic discussions with both Arab and Israeli leaders. A modest but significant agreement was reached regarding humanitarian aid for Gaza, marking a shift in Israel’s earlier stance of withholding essential supplies.

What are the broader implications of the situation for regional stability?

The crisis has raised concerns about the stability of the Middle East. There are fears that deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza could completely erode already limited Arab tolerance for Israeli military operations, potentially fueling greater regional instability.

More about Biden-Israel visit

  • U.S.-Israel Relations
  • Recent Gaza Hospital Explosion
  • Biden’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Diplomatic Efforts
  • Regional Reactions to Gaza Crisis
  • Israel-Hamas Conflict: Background and Current Status

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Robert Wilson October 18, 2023 - 11:51 am

When it comes to Middle East, it’s always a complex puzzle. Not sure if Biden’s visit helped or made things more tense.

Jane Smith October 18, 2023 - 12:43 pm

Interesting how Blinken spent 7.5 hours on diplomacy and all they got was a ‘green light’ to plan aid. Takes time, I guess.

Michael Brown October 18, 2023 - 8:35 pm

israel and Hamas both deny responsiblity for the hospital explosion but hundreds are dead. Where’s the accountability?

Emily Davis October 18, 2023 - 11:34 pm

So, Biden cancels Jordan visit after Gaza explosion. Seems like the region’s on the brink and everyone’s treading carefully.

John Doe October 19, 2023 - 3:25 am

Wow, Biden’s standing by Israel but what about the other side? Seems kinda one-sided to me.


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