Arab leaders refuse to meet Biden, pressure mounts on US, Israel to end carnagetext_fields
As Israel's onslaught continues in Gaza, forcing Arab countries in the Middle East to exert diplomatic pressure on the US and Israeli governments to end the carnage, Jordan decided not to meet US President Joe Biden, retracting from the earlier schedule when he lands in Israel.
In the aftermath of a devastating Israeli air raid on Gaza City's Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, the international community is bracing for diplomatic repercussions as United States President Joe Biden prepares to touch down in Israel.
The strike, which occurred amid escalating tensions following an October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel, resulted in the tragic death of at least 500 people, including patients and civilians seeking refuge in the hospital.
The hospital, a purported safe haven, became a target in the ongoing conflict, prompting Jordan to cancel a scheduled summit with Biden, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The cancellation underscores the severity of the situation, with Jordan expressing its displeasure and deeming Biden unwelcome in Amman at the moment.
In response to the attack, Biden took to X, formerly known as Twitter, expressing his being "outraged and deeply saddened" but stopping short of directly criticizing Israel. Instead, he pledged to receive a comprehensive brief on Israel's war aims and strategy, reaffirming Washington's commitment to Israel's security.
Despite the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza, Biden and his administration have consistently emphasized Israel's right to defend itself, aligning with its goal of dismantling Hamas. Notably absent from Biden's statements is a direct call for Israel to show restraint, halt civilian bombings, or allow access to essential resources.
The situation has garnered global attention, with Iran issuing warnings of potential "pre-emptive" action if Israel continues its current path. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for an immediate halt to Gaza's bombing and held Washington accountable for the crisis.
Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, in announcing the summit cancellation, blamed Israel for pushing the region "to the brink of the abyss" through its military campaign. King Abdullah II echoed these sentiments, denouncing Israel for a hospital blast that claimed hundreds of Palestinian lives, labelling it a "shame on humanity."
Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict faced criticism from within the U.S., notably from Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress. Tlaib accused Biden of a "war and destruction only" approach, asserting that the refusal to facilitate a ceasefire had opened the eyes of many Palestinian and Muslim Americans.
Amidst mounting pressure, over 70 religious and activist groups, led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, urged Biden to demand a ceasefire in Gaza during his visit.