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US President Joe Biden to visit Israel as Gaza war sparks humanitarian crisis

Diplomats renewed calls for aid to the besieged Gaza Strip while Iran’s Foreign Minister said Israel would not be allowed to act there without facing consequences, warning of “preemptive action” in the coming hours.

US President Joe Biden weighed a visit to Israel laden with political and security risks, underscored on Monday when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to shelter in a bunker for five minutes while meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when sirens went off in Tel Aviv.

Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement that rules Gaza, after fighters of the armed wing of the Iran-backed Palestinian Hamas movement burst across the barrier to Israel on October 7, gunning down 1 300 Israelis, mainly civilians, in the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year-old history.

Israel has since put Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under a total blockade and pounded it with unprecedented air strikes, and is widely expected to launch a ground assault.

Gaza authorities say more than 2 800 people have been killed there, around a quarter of them children, and more than 10 000 wounded are in hospitals desperately short of supplies. Hamas said on Monday it had fired a “barrage of missiles,” toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told state TV: “Leaders of the Resistance will not allow the Zionist regime to take any action in Gaza. … All options are open and we cannot be indifferent to the war crimes committed against the people of Gaza.”

“The resistance front is capable of waging a long-term war with the enemy (Israel)… in the coming hours, we can expect a preemptive action by the resistance front,” he said, without elaborating.

Source: SABC

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