President Biden wraps up his visit with a warning against being ‘consumed’ by rage
Evidence shows Hamas militants likely used some North Korean weapons in the attack
Gaza hospital carnage spreads anger across Middle East
Tel Aviv: President Joe Biden swept into wartime Israel for a 7 1/2-hour visit Wednesday that produced a heaping dose of vocal support, a deal to get limited humanitarian aid into Gaza from Egypt, likely by the end of the week, and a plea for Israelis not to allow rage over the deadly Hamas attack to consume them.
“I understand. Many Americans understand,” Biden said as he wrapped up his stay in Tel Aviv, likening the Oct. 7 Hamas assault to the attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3,000 people. “But I caution you: While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it,” he said. “After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.”
Biden urged Israel to step back from the brink, not just to ease growing tensions in the Mideast that threaten to spiral into a broader regional conflict, but also to reassure a world rattled by images of carnage and suffering, in Israel and Gaza alike. One million people have been displaced in roughly 10 days, according to the United Nations.
Biden’s mission was to display resolve for Israel and to diminish the likelihood of a wider war, while providing assurances that he was not overlooking the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Aboard the flight back to Washington, Biden
made progress when he spoke by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi who agreed to reopen his country’s sealed border crossing with Gaza and allow up to 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid supplies to cross.
Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes pounded locations across the Gaza Strip early Thursday, including parts of the south that Israel had declared safe zones, heightening fears among more than 2 million Palestinians trapped in the territory that nowhere was safe.
In the nearly two weeks since Israel began attacking in response to a devastating Hamas rampage in towns across southern Israel, airstrikes have relentlessly hit the densely populated territory. Even after Israel told Palestinians to evacuate the north and head to what it called “safe zones” in the south, strikes continued across the entire territory.
The bombardments came after Israel agreed Wednesday to allow Egypt to deliver limited humanitarian aid to Gaza, the first crack in a punishing 11-day siege. Many among Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have cut down to one meal a day and have been left to drink dirty water amid dwindling supplies.
The announcement of a plan to bring water, food and other supplies into Gaza happened as fury over the blast at Gaza City’s al-Ahli Hospital spread across the Middle East, and as U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel in hopes of preventing a wider conflict in the region.