US President Biden, Netanyahu may meet in Washington during Israeli PM’s visit

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US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to meet in Washington in late July when the Israeli leader comes to address the US Congress about his country’s war in Gaza, a White House official said on Tuesday.

Netanyahu is due to address the US Congress on July 24 during a visit to Washington. He will speak to a joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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The expectation of a Biden-Netanyahu meeting was reported first by CNN, which added that the logistical details of their meeting expected at the White House were still being finalized.

While the US has maintained its strong support for Israel both diplomatically and in providing weapons amid the war in Gaza, Biden has on some occasions expressed concerns about Israel’s conduct.

For example, he once termed Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza as indiscriminate while also labeling its military response on another occasion as “over the top.” In a call with Netanyahu in April after the killing of aid workers, Biden urged him to take more steps to protect civilians in Gaza, saying US policy may change otherwise.

Republicans have criticized Biden, a Democrat, for this and said urged more support for Israel.

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There has been mounting international criticism of Israel’s conduct and of US support for its ally in a war that has so far killed tens of thousands and created a humanitarian crisis.

Nearly 38,000 people have been killed during the war in Gaza, the local health ministry says, with many more feared buried in rubble as nearly the entire enclave has been flattened and most of its 2.3 million population displaced.

There is also widespread hunger in Gaza. The war has led to genocide allegations that Israel denies.

Israel’s assault on Gaza began after Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting 250 hostages to the Hamas-governed enclave, according to Israeli tallies.

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