IDF says Biden visit will not delay Gaza ground operation: Report

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman said on Tuesday the military does not expect US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel to delay or complicate the ground operation in Gaza.

Israel Defense Forces international spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN he believes Biden supports Israel's campaign to defeat Hamas.

“I think the president also said that ‘Hamas needs to be destroyed,’ and that is exactly our military aim,” Conricus said.

Biden will travel to Israel on Wednesday “to demonstrate his steadfast support for Israel in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack and to consult on next steps,” the White House said.

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He will also travel to Jordan where he will meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Sisi, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “He will reiterate that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination and discuss the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza.”

Israel has declared that it will embark on a massive ground operation in Gaza in the coming days, potentially its largest in four decades, the Times of Israel reported. The IDF said on Saturday it was finalizing its preparations for a “coordinated attack from the air, sea and land.”

“Our responsibility now is to enter Gaza, to go to the places where Hamas is preparing, acting, planning, launching. Attack them everywhere, every commander, every operative, destroy infrastructure,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said.

The ground offensive’s declared aims are: “toppling the Hamas government and destroying its military capabilities, removing the terror threat from the Gaza Strip on Israel, maximum effort to solve the hostage issue, and defending Israel’s borders and its civilians.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Israel won’t stop until it destroys Hamas’s military and governmental capabilities, according to a statement from the office of the prime minister.

“The Prime Minister made it clear that Israel had been attacked by brutal and abhorrent murderers, had gone to war determined and united, and would not stop until it had destroyed Hamas's military and governing capabilities,” the PM’s office said in a statement.

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