Oct 16, 2023 - World

Biden to visit Israel on Wednesday in major show of solidarity

President Biden.

President Biden. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will visit Tel Aviv on Wednesday in a show of support as Israel prepares for a ground offensive in Gaza, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Monday.

Why it matters: The unprecedented visit, the first by a U.S. president while Israel is actively at war, will also be aimed at discouraging Iran and Hezbollah from joining the fighting.

What they're saying: Biden while in Israel will "reaffirm U.S. solidarity to Israel and commitment to its security," assess the country's needs amid the ongoing war against Hamas, and "underscore our clear message" that no actor should "try to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel," Blinken said.

  • Biden will also receive a comprehensive brief on Israel's war aims and strategy, Blinken said from Tel Aviv after more than seven hours of talks with Israeli leaders on Monday.

Blinken said that Israel and the U.S. have agreed to develop a plan to "enable international aid to reach civilians in Gaza and them alone including creating areas in Gaza that will enable civilians not to be harmed."

  • "It is critical that aid starts flowing to Gaza as soon as possible," Blinken said.
  • "We share Israel's concern that Hamas will take control of the aid that enters Gaza," Blinken added, warning that if the group tries to block or seize aid, the U.S. will be the first to condemn it and prevent it from happening again.

The big picture: Biden will also travel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah II, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

Go deeper: Blinken urges Bibi to allow aid into Gaza to maintain wider support for invasion

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