On President Biden’s last-minute trip to Israel Wednesday, the commander-in-chief pledged America’s support to the Jewish state alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Following what the world’s media covered as Tuesday’s massive explosion of the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital in Gaza, Jordan abruptly canceled a summit set to be held in Amman with leaders from Egypt and Palestine. The country’s king, Abdullah II, called off the four-way summit, blaming the Israeli Defense Forces for the explosion that, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, killed around 500 Palestinians. The Jordanian demanded an immediate end of Israel’s offensive, labeling the event a “shame on humanity.”
Similarly, Egypt’s foreign ministry joined Jordan saying that Cairo considers the “deliberate bombing of civilians to be a serious violation of international, humanitarian law and of the most basic values of humanity.” Additionally, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, described the explosion as “the latest example of Israel’s attacks devoid of fundamental human values.”
Meanwhile, as the explosion fostered a cohesive response from Arab states, in Wednesday’s press conference from Tel Aviv, Biden said that “based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” as he looked at the Israeli prime minister.
Democratic congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar retweeted a post from investigative journalist Dan Cohen, which shows Hananya Naftali, who works for Netanyahu’s digital team, boasting “that Israel bombed Gaza’s ah-Ahli hospital before deleting and two minutes later lying that Hamas did it.” Tlaib again blamed Israel for the hospital blast at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Capitol on Wednesday, despite mounting evidence that the initial Health Ministry statement was inaccurate. The protesters then entered the Cannon office building of the US House to demonstrate.
Adrienne Watson, the White House’s National Security Council spokeswoman, said earlier that day that “our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday.”
After the press conference, the Israeli Air Force said that their footage confirms that “Islamic Jihad’s failed launch last night hit the parking lot adjacent to the hospital inside the Gaza Strip, not the hospital itself,” as videos from the site arise on social media, leading many to conclude that the “over 500” and “around 1,000” death figures on renowned newspapers are misleading.
While all this happened, the United States vetoed a Brazil-sponsored UN Security Council resolution, which called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver aid to civilians in Gaza. Aside from Russia’s and the UK’s abstentions, every council member voted in favor, further illustrating Biden’s commitment with the Israeli government.