TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — President Joe Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday to show support for the U.S. ally as concerns increase that the raging Israel-Hamas war could expand into a larger regional conflict.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Biden’s travel to Israel as the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip grows more dire and as Israel prepares for a possible ground attack on the 141-square-mile (365-square-kilometer) territory to root out Hamas militants responsible for what U.S. and Israeli officials say was the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust.
Biden is looking to send the strongest message yet that the U.S. is behind Israel. His Democratic administration has pledged military support, sending U.S. carriers and aid to the region. Officials have said they would ask Congress for upward of $2 billion in additional aid for both Israel and Ukraine, which is fighting Russia’s invasion.
Blinken made the announcement early Tuesday after more than seven hours of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials.