Biden to host King Abdullah to discuss Gaza

Accompanying King Abdullah II, Queen Rania will join the visit, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of US-Jordan diplomatic ties. …reports Asian Lite News

US President Joe Biden will convene with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington on Monday to address the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the White House. Amid efforts by the US and regional powers to broker a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages in Gaza, the meeting aims to explore lasting solutions.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted the focus on Gaza’s ongoing crisis and initiatives for sustainable peace, including enhanced humanitarian aid and a commitment to a two-state solution ensuring Israel’s security.

Accompanying King Abdullah II, Queen Rania will join the visit, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of US-Jordan diplomatic ties. Following the Washington talks, Abdullah’s itinerary includes meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, and European officials in Germany, culminating in attendance at the Munich Security Conference.

This engagement marks Biden and Abdullah’s first meeting since the October 7 Hamas attack precipitated the Gaza conflict. Previously scheduled talks in Jordan after Biden’s visit to Israel were canceled due to outcry over a Gaza hospital explosion, which Biden later attributed to a malfunctioning Palestinian rocket.

In a separate development, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken conferred with Abdullah in Amman in January, where the Jordanian monarch urged diplomatic efforts to secure a Gaza ceasefire and alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, the Gaza-based Health Ministry has warned that the Israeli army is endangering the lives of medical personnel, the wounded, and the displaced at the Nasser Hospital in the southern Khan Younis city.

The Ministry’s Spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said on Thursday in a statement that the Nasser Hospital is facing “a health and humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the Israeli siege and targeting,” mentioning that around 300 medical staff, 450 wounded people, and 10,000 displaced people inside the hospital are “at risk of being killed and starving”.

He added the hospital is facing a severe shortage of anesthetic drugs, intensive care units, and surgical supplies, as well as a cessation of electric generators in less than 48 hours due to a lack of fuel, Xinhua news agency reported.

He accused the Israeli army of obstructing the movement of ambulance vehicles and hindering the arrival of the wounded and patients to the hospital.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila announced on Wednesday that 340 doctors and healthcare workers in the health sector have been killed due to the ongoing Israeli war since October 7, 2023.

She added during a protest organised by the Ministry and the Palestinian health sector in front of the United Nations headquarters in Ramallah that around 900 doctors and healthcare workers have been injured, while Israeli authorities have detained around 100 others.

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