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Biden expressed readiness to visit Israel and commented on situation in Gaza

Biden expressed readiness to visit Israel and commented on situation in Gaza Photo: Joe Biden, US President (Getty Images)

President of the United States, Joe Biden, stated that he is prepared to visit Israel and address the country's parliament (Knesset). The American leader also reiterated the call for a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to facilitate the release of hostages and the delivery of aid, according to an interview with the US President on MSNBC.

Biden did not specify whether the idea of speaking in the Knesset was discussed with his aides.

The President of the United States also, when asked if a possible visit would take place at the invitation of Israeli colleague Isaac Herzog or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noted that for now in an interview, it would be better not to discuss this further.

The conversation about a potential visit by Biden to Israel is happening against the backdrop of ongoing US efforts to push the negotiation process for a ceasefire in the Gaza Sector, where the IDF continues its military operation against the terrorist group Hamas, the release of hostages captured by militants, and regarding increasing humanitarian aid for the residents of this Palestinian enclave.

About the ceasefire and 'quiet period' in Gaza

In the interview, Biden reiterated his call for a temporary cessation of hostilities to release hostages and deliver aid, although negotiations between the parties, it seems, have reached an impasse.

The US President also does not rule out the possibility of achieving a ceasefire by the start of the sacred Muslim month of Ramadan, which begins on March 10.

Biden also commented on the current situation with hostilities in Gaza and expressed the opinion that Netanyahu is "hurting Israel more than helping Israel."

The American president confirmed support for Israel's right to pursue HAMAS after the terrorist attack on October 7 of last year but pointed out that Netanyahu "must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken."

About the operation in the city of Rafah and 'red lines'

According to Biden, a potential Israeli army incursion into the city of Rafah is a "red line" for him, but he added that "but I’m never going to leave Israel" in the context, particularly, of providing defensive assistance.

"The defense of Israel is still critical, so there’s no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons so they don’t have the Iron Dome to protect them," he emphasized.

Situation in the Gaza Strip

On October 7, 2023, militants from the HAMAS group launched a massive attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Following this, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated a ground military operation in the Gaza Strip at the end of October, which continues to date. The country's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that the goal of the operation was the complete destruction of HAMAS and the liberation of hostages.

On February 8, Netanyahu declared that the full victory of the IDF is imminent. He also announced the readiness of the IDF to commence a ground invasion into the city of Rafah near the border with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip.

It was previously reported that according to the Director of the CIA, William Burns, Israel and HAMAS are close to a ceasefire.

Additionally, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, requested from Israeli Knesset member Benny Gantz permission to deliver additional aid to Gaza.

On March 8, US President Joe Biden announced plans for the construction of a temporary port by American military forces to ship humanitarian aid by sea to the residents of Gaza.

Following this, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that she hopes for the opening of a maritime corridor for the delivery of humanitarian aid from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, March 10.