An Israeli ground offensive in Gaza will likely only take place after US President Joe Biden concludes his visit to the country, news website Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday.
The German outlet cited anonymous sources as suggesting that there are “increasing signs” that any plans to invade the Palestinian enclave will be “almost impossible” while Biden is in Israel.
The Spiegel report comes hours after the White House confirmed that Biden was to travel to Israel and Jordan on Wednesday as part of Washington’s efforts to demonstrate its support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas, while also easing humanitarian issues in war-torn Gaza.
The US has also expressed concerns about the situation spiraling into a wider conflict if other regional powers get involved.
- “On Wednesday, I’ll travel to Israel to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack,” a post from Biden on X (formerly Twitter), read early on Tuesday.
- “I’ll then travel to Jordan to address dire humanitarian needs, meet with leaders, and make clear that Hamas does not stand for Palestinians’ rights to self-determination.”
Israel has amassed thousands of troops on its border with Gaza for a widely expected ground operation in the enclave.
The move is part of retaliatory measures against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, following its October 7 incursion into Israeli territory. About 1,400 Israelis, most of them civilians, were massacred by Hamas.
Israel’s armed forces have conducted an unprecedented bombing campaign on the enclave in the days that followed. The Israeli Air Force stated that it dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza in the first six days of the conflict.
- Reports indicate that more than 2,800 people have died in the air strikes, while the United Nations (UN) has said that at least one million people have been displaced.
The UN has also warned that the situation in Gaza could deteriorate into a severe humanitarian crisis.
Referencing Biden’s visit to the Middle East early on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it would demonstrate Washington’s “solidarity with Israel” and represent an “ironclad commitment to its security.”