Biden says Gaza’s hospital massacre 'done by the other team' not Israel

AP , Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Oct 2023

President Joe Biden opened his visit to Israel on Wednesday vowing to show the world that the U.S. stands in solidarity with Israel and claimed that the deadly strike on Gaza’s hospital appeared to have been carried out “by the other team” and not the Israeli military.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv. AP


“Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting, referring to Hamas fighters. But Biden said there were “a lot of people out there” who weren't sure what caused the blast”.

 Palestinian Islamic Jihad dismissed Israeli claims that the movement is responsible for the strike on Gaza's hospital, accusing Israel of attempting to evade accountability for the "brutal massacre" it allegedly committed. The group argued that Israel's order to evacuate Al-Ahli and reports of a previous explosion at the hospital served as evidence that the hospital was deliberately targeted by Israel. They also emphasized that the scale of the explosion, the angle of the bomb's fall, and the extent of the destruction all pointed to Israeli involvement.

Biden had been scheduled to visit Jordan after the stop in Israel, but meetings there with Arab leaders were called off after the hospital explosion. He told Netanyahu he was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the explosion. But he also said it was not hyperbole to say Hamas had “slaughtered” Israelis in the Oct. 7 attack.

“Americans are grieving, they really are,” Biden said. “Americans are worried.”

"We have to bear in mind that Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people and has brought them only suffering," he said.

Biden added that he was encouraging Netanyahu to ensure "life-saving capacity to help the Palestinians who are innocent and caught in the middle of this".

"I want to say to the people of Israel -- their courage, their commitment and their bravery is stunning," Biden said, adding that he was "proud" to visit Israel.

Meanwhile , Netanyahu thanked Biden for coming to Israel, telling him the visit was “deeply, deeply moving.”

“I have seen your support every day in the breadth and depth of cooperation that we have had since the beginning of this war.”, he said.

Netanyahu called the US cooperation “truly unprecedented.”

Notably, Netanyahu did not mention the humanitarian situation in Gaza or Tuesday night’s massacre in a Gaza hospital.

“Just as the civilized world united to defeat the Nazis, and united to defeat ISIS, the civilized world must unite to defeat Hamas,” said Netanyahu, claiming that Israel will defeat Hamas for “peace and security in the region and in the world.”

Netanyahu lauded Biden for providing Israel “with the tools we need to defend ourselves,” and for “the clear message you’ve sent our enemies not to test our resolve.”

He also pointed at the two US aircraft carriers Biden sent “to back up those words with action.”

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