Israel-Hamas war: Joe Biden heads to Middle East inflamed by Gaza hospital blast

GAZA: US President Joe Biden flies to Israel on Wednesday to sign help for its battle towards Hamas after a lethal blast at a Gaza Metropolis hospital infected tensions and led to the cancellation of his deliberate summit with Arab leaders.
A Gaza well being ministry spokesperson stated a whole bunch died on the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital after what Palestinian officers stated was an Israeli air strike.
Israel blamed the blast on a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which denied duty.
Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm the claims nor the demise toll.
The well being ministry spokesperson, Ashraf Al-Qudra, stated a whole bunch have been killed and rescuers have been nonetheless pulling our bodies from the rubble. Earlier, a Gaza civil defence chief gave a demise toll of 300, whereas well being ministry sources put it at 500.
No matter who was accountable or what number of could have died, the incident has infected a area already in disaster since Hamas carried out an Oct. 7 cross-border rampage towards communities in southern Israel wherein at the very least 1,300 individuals died.
Al Jazeera carried footage displaying a frantic scene as rescue staff scoured blood-stained rubble for survivors. Rescuers and civilians have been proven carrying away at the very least 4 victims in physique luggage.
Earlier than Tuesday’s blast, well being authorities in Gaza stated at the very least 3,000 individuals had died in Israel’s 11-day bombardment that started after the Oct. 7 assault, which caught Israel without warning and led to almost 200 individuals being taken to Gaza as hostages.
In a single signal of the fraught scenario going through Biden, Jordan canceled a deliberate summit with the US president, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Abbas canceled plans to satisfy Biden after the hospital blast.
In one other, Palestinian safety forces fired tear gasoline and stun grenades to disperse protesters within the occupied West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah who have been throwing rocks and chanting towards Abbas as widespread anger boiled.
Protests additionally happened at Israel’s embassies in Turkey and Jordan and close to the US embassy in Lebanon, the place safety forces fired tear gasoline towards demonstrators.
Talking to reporters as Biden flew to Tel Aviv, White Home nationwide safety spokesperson John Kirby stated Biden would put “robust questions” to Israeli leaders however didn’t give particulars.
Biden will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli battle cupboard searching for to get a way of Israel’s plans and goals, Kirby stated.
“He’ll be asking some robust questions, he’ll be asking them as a buddy, as a real buddy of Israel, however he’ll be asking some questions of them,” Kirby stated.
Biden has beforehand stated the US doesn’t need the battle to metastasize right into a wider battle, and that it needs humanitarian assist to movement into Gaza regardless of an Israeli “siege” that has blocked meals, gasoline and water provides.
“We really feel optimistic that that form of help will begin to movement,” Kirby stated.
Biden will even meet with Israeli first responders and households of those that misplaced family members or whose members of the family are hostages of Hamas. An estimated 200 individuals have been taken again to Gaza as hostages after the Oct. 7 Hamas assault.
Biden left Washington on Tuesday on what was imagined to be a posh diplomatic mission, aimed toward displaying help for long-time US ally Israel, calming the area and shoring up humanitarian efforts for Gaza.
It was unclear what he may accomplish within the wake of the hospital strike, conflicting reviews about duty, and the cancellation of the summit in Jordan. Kirby stated Biden deliberate to talk with Abbas and Sisi on his method again to Washington.
“This kind of murky however horrific occasion makes diplomacy tougher and will increase escalation dangers,” stated Richard Gowan, UN director at Worldwide Disaster Group.

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