President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday, October 18, hours after the deadly attack on Al Ahli hospital in Gaza, in which hundreds of civilians lost their lives. Both parties blame each other for the tragedy. Upon being received by Benjamin Netanyahu, the US President supported the Israeli version of events.
During his arrival in Tel Aviv, Biden stated that his purpose for the trip was to show unconditional support for the State of Israel. “I am here for a simple reason: so that the Israeli people and the whole world know what side we are on,” he declared.
Biden offered his condolences to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on behalf of the American people and even drew a comparison between Hamas and the Islamic State group. “They have committed atrocities that, in some ways, make ISIS look like a more balanced organization,” said the president.
He added that Israel must respond to Hamas’s attack, that the United States will continue to provide means for the Hebrew state to defend itself, and that they will also “work with Israel and our partners across the region to prevent further tragedies involving innocent civilians.” Beside him, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that his country will “do everything possible” to prevent civilian deaths.
“Some say US diplomatic power is not what it used to be. But this visit is happening in the midst of a war; it’s unique. Biden is trying to support Israel’s strong response to the worst terrorist attack in its history while also trying to calm the Israelis to prevent a broader war,” analyzed Alberto Fernández, a former US diplomat, in an interview with RFI.
“It Was the Other Team’s Doing”
“I am deeply saddened and devastated by yesterday’s explosion at the Gaza hospital,” said Biden, who also told the Israeli Prime Minister, “From what I have seen, it seems it was the other team’s doing, not yours.”
It is impossible to ascertain if US intelligence services have verified this information or if President Biden is solely relying on the information provided by Israeli intelligence services.
The Israeli army denies any involvement in the hospital attack. The IDF spokesperson explained to the press, with a satellite map in hand, that the explosion had not caused damage to nearby buildings, and no crater associated with an airstrike had been detected at the tragedy site.
According to the army, Hamas hurried to blame Israel because their communication was prepared. The official reiterated that Israeli intelligence services have evidence linking the explosion to a rocket failure launched by the Palestinian militia, Islamic Jihad.