President Biden landed in Tel Aviv today to show solidarity with Israel in its war against Hamas, and to try to prevent the war from spreading. But the Middle East is already bubbling over with rage — and the war’s shockwaves are increasingly tough to contain.
A deadly missile blast Tuesday at a hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of Palestinians, Gaza officials said — and inspired protests throughout the Arab world. The day felt like a turning point in a war in which signs of escalation and rising tension are all around.
Hamas blamed Israel for the strike. Israel said it had evidence that another group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, fired the missile.
The Washington Post reports:
As he met with Israel’s emergency war cabinet, President Biden once again condemned Hamas’s attack as “almost beyond belief” as he promised sustained U.S. support. “I want you to know you’re not alone,” Biden said. “We will continue to have Israel’s back as you work to defend your people.”
The president also said the United States will continue to work with Israel and “partners across the region to prevent more tragedy” on innocent civilians.
Biden did not respond to shouted questions from reporters about what intelligence he cited earlier Wednesday as he supported the Israeli government’s position that it was not responsible for the explosion at a Gaza hospital.
BREAKING: “We will continue to have Israel’s back as you work to defend your people.” Pres. Biden in Israel with Israeli PM Netanyahu also said they were working with partners across the region to prevent more tragedy for civilians. pic.twitter.com/vdc1GBBnyQ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 18, 2023
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to US President Joe Biden: “Mr. President, Joe, I want to thank you for coming here today and for the unequivocal support you have given Israel during these trying times, a support that reflects the overwhelming will of the American people.” pic.twitter.com/f4KURIaoja
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 18, 2023
“There’s only one thing better than… a true friend like you standing with Israel. And that is having you standing in Israel”
— Bloomberg (@business) October 18, 2023