Biden on Netanyahu meeting: 'No plans at this moment'

US President Joe Biden confirmed on Monday that he currently has no plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or address Israel's parliament, the Knesset. When reporters inquired about a potential meeting, Biden's response was a straightforward "No," leaving the possibility of future plans open with, "We’ll see what happens."

Publication: 12.03.2024 - 11:05
Biden on Netanyahu meeting: 'No plans at this moment'
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Regarding the prospect of speaking before the Knesset, Biden remained non-committal, stating, "No, not at this moment." Over the weekend, in an interview with MSNBC, he hinted at the possibility of addressing the Israeli public directly to express his concerns over Netanyahu's handling of the conflict in Gaza but did not provide further details.

The backdrop to these remarks is the ongoing and deadly military offensive by Israel in the Gaza Strip, initiated after a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in nearly 1,200 fatalities. The conflict has escalated, with over 31,100 Palestinians, primarily women and children, losing their lives, and more than 72,700 others sustaining injuries amid widespread devastation and shortages of essential goods.

Compounding the crisis, Israel has enforced a severe blockade on Gaza, exacerbating the suffering of its inhabitants, especially in the northern regions, by pushing them to the brink of starvation. The Palestinian Health Ministry reports that at least 27 individuals have died from malnutrition and dehydration due to the blockade.

The situation has led to significant displacement within Gaza, with 85% of the population being internally displaced and 60% of the enclave's infrastructure either damaged or destroyed, according to United Nations figures.

Amidst these grave circumstances, Israel faces accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which, in an interim ruling in January, demanded that Tel Aviv cease its genocidal acts and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilians in Gaza.

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