Biden hosts king of Jordan as Gaza hostage talks continue
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The pair discussed the “latest developments” in Gaza and their commitment to work toward "an enduring end to the crisis.” Both hope to achieve security for Israel with a two-state solution for Palestinian people, according to a White House summary of the meeting. It’s the first time the pair have met since Iran-backed militias attacked a U.S. military base in Jordan last month, killing three American soldiers. Biden’s meeting with Abdullah comes on the heels of the president’s Sunday discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about brokering the release of more hostages. The meeting also comes as Israeli forces prepare to launch a ground invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.
Why is an invasion of Rafah controversial? World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus renewed calls for a cease-fire on Monday. He voiced particular concern for attacks on southern Gaza’s city of Rafah, saying that“the majority of Gaza’s population has fled the destruction.” Biden also cautioned Netanyahu against an invasion of Rafah without a plan to keep innocent Palestinians safe, according to a White House statement. Netanyahu claims the invasion will take place, saying over the weekend, “We’re going to get the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah, which is the last bastion, but we’re going to do it.”
Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in The Sift on Israeli forces rescuing two hostages over the weekend.
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