In a press briefing aboard his presidential plane returning from Tel Aviv, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a significant development in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Biden stated that his country will "not deploy forces in Israel." He clarified that reports suggesting U.S. military involvement in the event of Hezbollah's participation in the conflict were incorrect.
Addressing the recent bombing of Al-Ahly Baptist Hospital in Gaza, President Biden expressed his concerns. He emphasized that his comments about the incident, where he attributed the attack to a "missile launched from inside the Gaza Strip by mistake," did not imply an accusation against Hamas for intentionally targeting the building.
During his talks with Israeli leaders, President Biden was candid about the urgent need to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. He urged Israel to allow aid to reach those displaced by the conflict, warning that failure to do so would hold them accountable.
In a significant move, President Biden revealed that he had reached an agreement with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to open the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid into Gaza. Up to 20 trucks will be allowed to pass initially, coordinated by the American ambassador in Cairo.
President Biden underscored that the crossing would be opened exclusively for humanitarian aid, not evacuations. He praised President El-Sisi for his cooperation and stated that the United Nations would distribute the aid.
However, Biden emphasized that if Hamas confiscated or obstructed the aid, further shipments would be halted. He described his discussions with President El-Sisi as "very frank negotiations."
Regarding his planned visit to Jordan, Biden revealed that he had decided to cancel it in light of the escalating situation, particularly after the bombing of the Baptist Hospital. He understood regional leaders' difficulties and noted the situation's sensitive nature.