Jordanian king to meet Biden on efforts to end Israel-Hamas war

Two will also discuss increasing ‘humanitarian assistance’ to Palestinians in war-torn Gaza, finding a viable path to a two-state solution, White House says

US President Joe Biden hosts Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House on May 13, 2022. (Royal Hashemite Court)
US President Joe Biden hosts Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House on May 13, 2022. (Royal Hashemite Court)

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden will host Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington on Monday for talks on resolving the Israel-Hamas war, now in its fourth month, the White House said.

The meeting comes as the United States and regional powers try to broker a ceasefire in exchange for the release of 136 hostages still held by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, amid hopes of a longer-term solution.

The two leaders will “discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza and efforts to produce an enduring end to the crisis,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday in a statement.

They also will talk about the “US effort to support the Palestinian people including through enhanced humanitarian assistance into Gaza and a vision for a durable peace to include a two-state solution with Israel’s security guaranteed.”

The Jordanian king will be accompanied by Queen Rania for the visit to the White House, which comes as the United States and Jordan mark 75 years of diplomatic relations, Jean-Pierre said.

It will be the first time Biden and Abdullah have met since the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught and the start of the war between Israel and the Gaza terror group.

War erupted when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists invaded southern Israel on October 7 and massacred some 1,200 people, injured thousands more and seized 253 hostages, of whom 136 still remain in Gaza, not all of them alive.

In response, Israel launched an aerial campaign and ground offensive against Hamas, vowing to eliminate the terror group, end its 16-year rule and return the hostages.

Biden was meant to travel to Jordan for talks with the king when he visited Israel less than two weeks after the deadly massacre, but the meeting was canceled after an explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza caused anger across the Arab world.

An overview of the al-Ahli Hospital (center) in Gaza City after a deadly explosion on October 17, which according to AP video analysis and other investigations was likely caused by a failed rocket launch from within the enclave. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)

At the time, Hamas claimed that the blast was caused by an Israeli airstrike and had killed some 500 people, a number that was widely reported worldwide even though the terror group’s figure could not be independently verified.

Independent investigations later concluded that the blast was most likely caused by a failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket launch, however. US intelligence placed the number of dead at anywhere between 100-300 people, while a European source said that only 30 people were believed to have been killed in the blast.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Abdullah in Amman in January. The Jordanian monarch urged the top diplomat to push for a ceasefire in Gaza and end the humanitarian crisis there.

Jordan has airdropped vital medical supplies and humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip on at least three separate occasions since the start of the war and has set up a field hospital in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis.

An airdrop of humanitarian aid to Gaza by Jordan and France on January 4, 2024. (Emmanuel Macron/X)

It has accused Israel of impeding the entry of aid into the war-torn enclave, and in November, recalled its ambassador in protest of the war and the high civilian death toll.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has said that more than 27,800 people have been killed in the enclave since the start of the war, though these figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires.

The IDF says it has killed some 10,000 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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