By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Despite growing tensions and failed talks, President Biden is holding to his diplomatic mission to Israel and Jordan. The visit aims to reaffirm the United States’ “unwavering support for Israel” in the wake of a recent terrorist attack by Hamas and to strategize on future actions. Following his visit to Israel, Biden will travel to Amman, Jordan, where he will hold discussions with key regional leaders. The itinerary includes meetings with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted the President’s intent to emphasize that Hamas does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people for “dignity and self-determination and to address the pressing humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.”
Before his departure, the White House reported that Biden talked with Middle Eastern leaders, including President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt. The discussions focused on collaborative efforts to alleviate the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza with the UN, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and other regional partners. The White House said the leaders also underscored maintaining stability in the broader Middle East region. During the conversation, Biden unequivocally condemned the recent terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, reiterating the organization’s misalignment with the rights of the Palestinian people. Both leaders committed to sustained cooperation to prevent further escalation and to ensure essential humanitarian aid reaches those in need.
The President also engaged in a dialogue with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani of Iraq, deliberating on measures to prevent widening the conflict in Gaza. Additionally, they addressed the urgency of addressing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza with the UN and regional partners. The White House affirmed the significance of the bilateral partnership between Iraq and the United States, as delineated in the Strategic Framework Agreement between the two nations. Both leaders pledged to maintain regular coordination to advance shared objectives and uphold regional stability in the weeks ahead.
As the conflict persists, approximately 600 American citizens are stranded in Gaza, confronting dwindling essential supplies and an increasingly dire humanitarian predicament. The State Department has disclosed that access to clean water, food, fuel, and medical provisions has become alarmingly scarce. The Israeli government has imposed a blockade in response to Hamas’ attacks on Israel, resulting in several days of power outages in Gaza. The toll of the conflict is staggering. Earlier this week, over 2,450 casualties and 9,200 injuries were reported in Gaza. In Israel, 1,400 individuals have died, and 3,500 have been injured.
Among the casualties are 30 Americans, victims of Hamas’ attack on Israel and the subsequent hostilities, according to a spokesperson from the State Department. Automated communications and unclear phone calls from the State Department have hindered efforts to ensure Palestinian Americans’ safety and evacuation, leaving families uncertain. The White House said Biden’s upcoming visit carries significant weight in a region grappling with escalating tensions and mounting humanitarian challenges.