US President, Joe #Biden To Visit #Israel As #Gaza War Deepens Humanitarian Crisis—-U.S. President Joe Biden has promised make a high-stakes visit to Israel on Wednesday to show support for its war on Hamas.
This came after Washington said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to let humanitarian aid reach besieged Gazans.
The U.S. national security spokesperson, John Kirby said after visiting Israel, Biden would travel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Trucks carrying vital supplies for Gaza reached the Rafah crossing in Egypt, the only access point to the enclave outside of Israel’s control.
A witness told Reuters some 160 trucks had left the nearby Egyptian town of Al-Arish, where they have been backed up while diplomats tried for days to open the route.
Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement that controls Gaza after Hamas gunmen killed 1,300 people, mainly civilians, during a rampage through southern Israeli towns on Oct. 7, the deadliest single day in Israel’s 75-year history.
Israel has bombarded Hamas-rule Gaza enclave with air strikes that have killed more than 2,800 Palestinians and driven around half of the 2.3 million Gazans from their homes.
It has imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, so far blocking all aid including food, fuel and medical supplies.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who announced Biden’s planned visit, said at the end of hours of talks with Netanyahu.
He said Netanyahu had agreed to develop a plan to get humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians.
“The president will hear from Israel what it needs to defend its people as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs,” Blinken said.
Biden would also “hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hamas.”
Washington is also trying to rally Arab states to help head off a wider regional war, after Iran pledged “preemptive action” from the “resistance front” of its allies which include the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.
The Israeli military said it had struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad military targets overnight, including Hamas’ headquarters and a bank used by the group.
At least 49 Palestinians were killed in an overnight Israeli strike that hit homes in Khan Younis and Rafah, Gaza’s interior ministry said.
Israel says Hamas fighters captured 199 hostages during their rampage.
Hamas said foreigners among the captives were its “guests” and would be released “when circumstances allow”, while making clear it aims to swap Israeli captives for thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails.
It released a video on Monday in which a French-Israeli woman captive was shown having an injured arm treated by a medic worker.
She identified herself as 21-year-old Mia Scheme and asked to be returned to her family as quickly as possible.