The US president leaves Tel Aviv again: “Always with Israel”. Talks with al-Sisi: Egypt opens the Rafah crossing for the passage of aid intended for civilians in Gaza
Humanitarian aid in Gazawith Egypt’s approval for the opening of the Rafah crossing. Military aid to Israelwhich must avoid an extended war on Hezbollah. Joe BidenPresident of the United States, returns to Washington after the quick trip to Tel Aviv and the meeting with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in the moment of very high tension after the bombing of the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, with hundreds of deaths and accusations mixed between Israel and Hamas.
“The USA is always with Israel”
Responsibility for the massacre, says Biden, “lies with the other team. The data was shown to me by the Department of Defense”, he says. “The United States will stand by Israel today, tomorrow and always”, says Biden. “I understand Israel’s anger, but don’t let it consume you”, he adds, drawing a parallel between the US reaction after September 11, 2001 and the one that Israel risks having today, after the Hamas attack on 7 October 2023.
“While on the one hand we have seen justice and obtained it, on the other we have made mistakes. The State of Israel was born to be a safe place for the Jewish people. While today this may not be the case… Israel must return to being a safe place for the Jewish people”, adds the US president in his statements to the press.
Netanyahu says yes to aid for Gaza and will receive weapons
“I have asked the Israeli government to accept the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, on the understanding that there will be inspections and that the aid must go to civilians and not to Hamas. Israel agreed that assistance could start from Egypt to Gaza“, Biden communicates. “I announce $100 million in new US funding for humanitarian assistance in both Gaza and the West Bank. This funding will support more than one million displaced Palestinians affected by the conflict, including emergency needs in Gaza. Let me be clear, if Hamas diverts or steals aid, it will have demonstrated once again that it has no interest in the well-being of the Palestinian people,” she adds.
Weapons will continue to arrive in Israel, however. Netanyahu underlines that “the unprecedented massive aid” assured by Biden will help the country win the war against Hamas and that the Jewish State will work “in every way possible” to achieve the release of the hostages captured by Hamas. “This week – says Biden – I will ask Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense. For decades we have ensured Israel’s military advantage”, continues Biden, specifying that the US has “moved military resources into the region” and will maintain the Iron Dome anti-missile system “fully stocked. The world will know that Israel is stronger than ever.”
The message to Israel: no war with Hezbollah
Israel also has to manage its northern border with Lebanon and the threat posed by Hezbollah. The Biden Administration has urged Israel “privately” not to launch a military campaign against militants in the North, as reported by the Times of Israel. In the last few hours, rockets have been fired from Lebanese territory. The Israeli military responded.
The United States recognizes that Israel must respond to Hezbollah’s growing attack on its northern borders, but urges it to exercise caution in its military responses to Hezbollah fire: an army mistake in Lebanon could trigger a much wider war, in which the US would not be willing to deploy men.
Biden-al Sisi, the agreement for aid from Egypt to Gaza
Biden closes the mission with contacts and talks with Egyptian President al-Sisi. Cairo has agreed to open the Rafah crossing to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. Biden, on the Air Force One flight to Washington, explains that al-Sisi said yes to opening the Rafah crossing to allow up to 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
The two leaders, the White House informs, discussed coordination to provide humanitarian assistance and mechanisms to ensure that aid is distributed for the benefit of the civilian population. Biden and Sisi agreed to work together to foster an urgent and strong international response to the UN’s humanitarian appeal. Furthermore, they agreed on the need to preserve stability in the Middle East, prevent the escalation of conflict and create the circumstances for lasting and permanent peace in the region.