Arab Leaders Cancel On Biden After Devastating Hospital Bombing

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Majesty King Abdullah II, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi canceled their plans to meet with President Joe Biden following the bombing of a Gaza hospital.

Hundreds of people were reportedly killed Tuesday in an explosion at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, though it has not been confirmed who the perpetrator is amid conflicting reports on whether it was an Israeli or Hamas strike, according to The Jerusalem Post. Biden was set to meet with Abbas, King Abdullah, and Sisi on Wednesday in Jordan, to discuss the “humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.” However, the trip has been canceled after Biden consulted with the leaders.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that the missile that struck the hospital was fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists, The Jerusalem Post reported. Officials in Gaza, however, claim that the rocket was fired by the IDF.

“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 in a statement. “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. 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.”

“I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, and the terrible loss of life that resulted,” Biden said in a statement.

“Immediately upon hearing this news, I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and have directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened. The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life during conflict and we mourn the patients, medical staff and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy,” he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel and announced Monday that Biden would be making a trip to the country on Wednesday. Since the terrorist organization Hamas attacked Israel, Biden has been vocal that the United States will support Israel through its war on Hamas, going as far as to say on Sunday that the terrorist group must be eliminated completely.

“On Wednesday, President Biden will visit Israel,” Blinken said in a press briefing. “He is coming here at a critical moment for Israel. For the region and for the world. And he is coming here to do the following. First, the president will reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel and our Ironclad commitment to its security. President Biden will again make clear as he has done unequivocally since Hamas’ slaughter of more than 1,400 people including at least 30 Americans.”

Biden’s immediate response to the Israel crisis has come under some scrutiny. Conservative media personalities blasted Biden for hosting a barbecue for his White House staff and their families a day after war broke out in Israel. The next day, the White House called a “lid” before noon, indicating that there would be no more public events, and the decision was met with backlash because the president had only made one public statement since the attack.

The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.