Sitting alongside Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuPresident Joe Biden has backed Israel’s denial of any responsibility for the deadly hospital explosion in Gaza City.
Hamas blamed Israel, while Israel vehemently denied any involvement and said a misfire of a rocket by the Islamic Jihad group was to blame. Exactly what happened has not been independently verified. Officials in Hamas-controlled territory say the massive explosion killed hundreds of people, but no toll has been verified.
“I am deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion that occurred yesterday at the Gaza hospital and, from what I saw, it appears that it was done by the other team, not you,” he said. Biden told Netanyahu and reporters. in Tel Aviv. “But there are a lot of people who aren’t sure about that. So, we have to overcome a lot of things.”
Mr. Biden is in Israel for only a few hours on Wednesday, aiming to show American solidarity with Israel and navigate a complicated situation with one of the United States’ most powerful allies. He was then scheduled to travel to Jordan to meet Arab leaders, butafter Jordan’s foreign minister said the summit had been canceled.
“I wanted to be here today for one simple reason: I wanted the people of Israel, the people of the world to know where the United States stands,” the president said.
Americans remain missing in the conflict, some of them believed to be held by Hamas.
Sitting alongside Netanyahu, Mr. Biden assured him that the United States would ensure Israel’s defense. He also sought to distinguish Hamas from most Palestinians. The president said Hamas is committing atrocities “that make ISIS look more rational.”
“And we must also keep in mind that Hamas does not represent all of the Palestinian people and has only brought them suffering,” the president said.
Mr Biden hailed the heroism of the Israeli people as “staggering”.
“I’m proud to be here,” he said.
The president is expected to make remarks following his meetings with Netanyahu.
—Willie Inman contributed to this report
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