US President Biden accepts PM Bennett’s invitation to visit Israel

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U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Israel at the invitation of Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett.

Although the two governments confirmed on Sunday that Biden had accepted the invitation to visit Israel in the coming months, neither party gave a date for the planned trip.

Bennett met with Biden in Washington in August 2021.

Both leaders spoke on Sunday when the Israeli Prime Minister informed Biden about efforts to “stop the violence and incitement in Jerusalem,” Bennett’s office said in a statement.

Over 300 Palestinians have been arrested and over 200 injured since Israeli forces launched raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque – the third sacred site of Islam – in East Jerusalem on April 15th.

The Israeli authorities said they entered the compound to facilitate the incursions of far-right Jews onto the sacred site. The 14-hectare (35-acre) compound is home to al-Qibli Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

On Friday, at least 57 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli police inside the Al-Aqsa mosque.

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US officials said they have engaged with Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab representatives in the region amid the increasing tensions.

The White House stated in its statement that Biden “took note of the efforts being made between Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reduce tensions and ensure a peaceful conclusion to Ramadan’s sacred time”.

The President of the United States also asserted “his unwavering support for Israel and its defense needs”, and both leaders had discussed “the threat posed by Iran and its proxies,” the White House said.

A statement by the Israeli government stated that Bennett and Biden discussed, in particular, Teheran’s request for the withdrawal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an American “terrorist” list.

“I am confident that President Biden … will not allow the Revolutionary Guards to be removed,” Bennett was quoted as saying in the statement.

Israel also opposed U.S. efforts to relaunch the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran, claiming that there are insufficient safeguards to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Then US President Donald Trump backed out of the nuclear deal in 2018, which led to its dismantling.

Photo: File

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