Biden’s Jordan summit CANCELLED after Gaza hospital blast: White House confirms president won’t meet King Abdullah II, Palestinian leader Abbas or President al-Sisi of Egypt after airstrike
- President Joe Biden will no longer travel to Jordan on his high stakes trip to the Middle East that will take him to Israel Wednesday
- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pulled out of the summit in Jordan Tuesday after a deadly airstrike killed hundreds
- Hamas’ health agency blamed the Israelis, while Israel Defense Forces said the blast was a misfire by a jihadist’s rocket
President Joe Biden will no longer travel to Jordan on his high stakes trip to the Middle East after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pulled out a meeting with Biden and Arab leaders over a missile strike on a Gaza hospital.
The White House confirmed that the Jordan portion of the trip was off as the president boarded Air Force One en route to Israel.
The meeting between Biden and Abbas was also to be attended by King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
‘After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt,’ a White House official said.
The official added that the president ‘sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.’
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One to leave for Israel. He was supposed to make a stop in Jordan too, but Palestinian Authority President cancelled the meeting after a blast ripped through a Gaza hospital
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled his meeting with Joe Biden and thus Biden’s summit with Arab leaders that was scheduled to take place Wednesday in Amman, Jordan is off
Images from Tuesday’s attack on a Gaza hospital, which the health authority, controlled by the terror group Hamas, said was an Israeli attack, while Israeli Defense Forces said it was hit by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad military group
‘He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days,’ the official added.
The meeting with Arab leaders was scheduled to take place in Amman, Jordan.
A senior Palestinian official said Abbas was returning to Ramallah, the seat of his government in the occupied West Bank before Biden arrives.
They had been due to speak in the wake of the horrific Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Gaza-based terror group Hamas.
But Abbas is withdrawing to protest an alleged Israeli airstrike on the hospital in Gaza that Hamas health officials say killed hundreds of people.
According to the Health Ministry an Israeli airstrike hit the hospital in Gaza City which was packed with wounded and other Palestinians seeking shelter.
If confirmed it would be by far the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008.
But Israel’s military denied responsibility and said intelligence suggested the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad military group.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said: ‘An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in Amman, Jordan on October 17, 2023. Abbas is scheduled to return to Ramallah, the seat of his government in the occupied West Bank, in the aftermath of the deadly hospital attack
‘Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza.’
Abbas declared a ‘public mourning for three days and flags flown at half-mast.’
The local health ministry, which is run by Hamas, said hundreds had been killed.
Images on social media showed fire engulfing the wreckage.
Several hospitals in Gaza City have become refuges for hundreds of people after Israel ordered an evacuation of the city and surrounding areas ahead of an expected ground invasion.
The ground invasion is a response to the horrific Hamas attack last week that killed more than 1,400 Israelis.
Rescue personnel work at scene At Al-Ahli Hospital
An injured man is carried outside the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza
Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said there were still no details on the hospital deaths.
He said: ‘We will get the details and update the public. I don’t know to say whether it was an Israeli air strike.’
It came after Israeli airstrikes killed dozens of civilians and at least one senior Hamas figure on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Palestinian security forces in Ramallah fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters throwing rocks.
U.S. officials tried to convince Israel to allow delivery of supplies to civilians, aid groups and hospitals in Gaza.
Joe Biden and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands after a statement, in Bethlehem last year
However, a top Israeli official said his country was demanding guarantees that Hamas terrorists would not seize any aid deliveries.
The head of Israel’s National Security Council said entry of aid also depended on the return of hostages held by Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of state Antony Blinken has been meeting leaders in the region in recent days.
They have told him that the situation following the Hamas atrocity threatens the stability of the entire Middle East.
Biden is likely to hear the same as he meets with leaders of Jordan and Egypt – but not Abbas – in Amman on Wednesday.
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