- Joe Biden spent seven and a half hours in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, meeting with Israeli officials to discuss their response to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack.
- Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US “fully supported” Israel’s plans to launch a ground invasion of Gaza.
- Benny Gantz, a former IDF chief of staff and former defense minister, told Biden that the raid could take years, Axios reported
Joe Biden on Thursday authorized US leaders to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, a report shows.
Biden spent seven and a half hours in Tel Aviv on Thursday, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies.
The US president told Netanyahu that he “fully supported” Israel’s plans to invade Gaza and “eradicate Hamas.” The times from London.
Benny Gantz, a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff who has joined his rival Netanyahu’s war cabinet, warned Biden that the raid could take “years.” Axios reported.
Biden spoke to reporters on his way back from Israel, on Air Force One, but did not confirm US support for the invasion. The White House has not commented.
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, are pictured in Tel Aviv on Wednesday
In the photo, Israeli troops are positioned along the Gaza border on Wednesday
On Wednesday, an Israeli soldier patrols the border between Israel and Gaza
Biden is seen speaking to reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday, en route back from Israel. Behind him are Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
Sources told The Times that Biden urged Israel to show restraint as it enters Gaza and demanded that Israel allow humanitarian aid from Egypt into the devastated enclave.
Biden called Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, from Air Force One as he flew home to confirm the deal, and publicly thanked Sisi as he spoke to reporters on the plane.
Sisi “deserves a lot of credit” for allowing humanitarian aid to flow, Biden said.
“He was completely cooperative,” Biden said, adding that he “went the extra mile — just like Bibi.”
Twenty trucks full of aid are allowed to drive from Egypt to Gaza. Shipments are likely to begin Friday, The Times reported, because the road leading there has been bombed and needs repairs before the trucks can pass.
Biden said the UN will be responsible for distributing aid in Gaza, and there may be a second shipment if the first goes well.
“If Hamas seizes them or doesn’t let them through, that’s the end of it,” Biden said.
His government has been answering questions for days about how to create humanitarian corridors for Palestinian residents of Gaza to flee amid an Israeli evacuation order.
“We are going to get people out,” he said, after discussing the issue with Netanyahu during his trip and providing humanitarian aid.
“I was very blunt about the need to get humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
There was no mention of what would happen in Gaza after the Israeli invasion, and Biden made no mention of discussions about the future of the enclave.
Israeli officials have also been vague about what will happen to the area.
Eli Cohen, the secretary of state, suggested to Army Radio that Israel plans to reduce the geographic size of Gaza, The Times reported.
“At the end of this war, not only will Hamas no longer be in Gaza, but Gaza’s territory will decrease,” he said.