update deskIsrael at War

Biden expected in Israel this week

The White House has not confirmed the visit.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden meet at the InterContinental Hotel in New York, Sept. 20, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden meet at the InterContinental Hotel in New York, Sept. 20, 2023. Photo by Avi Ohayon/GPO.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to make a snap visit to Israel on Wednesday, Channel 12 reports.

Other Israeli media report that Jerusalem is preparing for Biden’s arrival towards the end of the week, with the president to then also travel to Egypt.

The White House has not confirmed the visit, which would come after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Biden to visit the Jewish state during their phone call on Saturday.

Biden has offered strong support for Israel following the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7 that killed over 1,400 people and wounded more than 3,500 others. At least 150 people were forcibly taken back to Gaza, including an unknown number of Americans.

The Biden administration has already sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Israel in a show of solidarity and has transported military supplies and equipment and bolstered its posture in the region by positioning two aircraft carriers and their escorts in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Blinken on Monday returned to Israel after visiting other regional players, where he was expected to head straight to Jerusalem to meet with Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and members of the unity government’s Cabinet.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is also in Israel, leading a bipartisan delegation to show support for the Jewish state. On Sunday he said that the Senate will act swiftly to pass an aid package for Israel in the hopes that the House of Representatives will do the same.

Schumer said that the delegation he is leading—Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.)—has three aims: to show that America stands with Israel, to learn from Israeli leaders what the Jewish state needs “so we can put the best aid package together quickly,” and to demonstration that U.S. support for Israel is bipartisan.

Israel is preparing a major ground offensive in Gaza with the goal to destroy Hamas, an objective that Biden on Sunday said he supports.

Asked during a “60 Minutes” interview if the Gaza-based terror group “must be eliminated entirely,” the U.S. president said yes.

In addition to Biden’s visit, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is also expected to travel to the Jewish state this week, the Reuters news agency said on Monday, citing a report by the n-tv broadcaster.

A spokesperson for the German government did not immediately confirm the reported travel plans, Reuters added.

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