Washington, Oct 17 (EFE). – United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the attack on a hospital in Gaza, saying he was “outraged and deeply saddened” by the assault that left at least 500 people dead.
“As soon as I heard the news, I spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and I have directed my national security team to continue gathering information about what exactly happened,” the US president added.
“The United States stands unequivocally for the protection of civilian life in conflict, and we mourn the patients, medical personnel, and other innocents killed or wounded in this tragedy,” Biden said.
Responsibility for the bombing of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza remains unclear. While Israel blames the Islamic Jihad organization, the Palestinians and Arab countries blame Israeli forces.
Biden’s condemnation comes after Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh declined to comment on the bombing.
In a press conference, she said she could not speak on the matter because she did not know who was responsible for the attack and the details of what happened were not yet available.
Despite what happened, Biden decided on Tuesday to continue his trip to Israel on Wednesday, but not to Jordan, after Arab leaders cancelled the scheduled meeting, following the hospital bombing.
Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, announced on Tuesday that Jordan had decided not to host the four-party summit in Amman on Wednesday, which Biden was due to attend.
The minister spoke to Jordanian state television Al Mamlaka after the Arab country declared three days of mourning for the bombing.
Earlier, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had cancelled his participation and decided to return for a meeting with the Palestinian leadership, according to a statement released by the official agency Wafa.
White House sources confirmed that Biden’s trip had been postponed out of respect for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has called for days of mourning.
“After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and his planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt,” the White House statement said.
The statement added that President Biden looked forward to meeting with the leaders in person soon and “agreed to remain in regular and direct contact with each of them in the coming days”.
Biden was due to travel to Amman to meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Abbas to discuss humanitarian aid and the possible opening of a corridor at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. EFE