Israel will not invade Gaza until after Joe Biden’s visit as US leader ‘will push for life-saving aid to Palestinians’

Israel will not invade Gaza until after Joe Biden’s visit as US leader ‘will push for life-saving aid to Palestinians’

ISRAEL will not invade Gaza until after US President Biden visits the country’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv tomorrow, sources believe.

Mr Biden — following Winston Churchill’s advice that “jaw-jaw is better than war-war” — is expected to tell Mr Netanyahu to let in life-saving aid before unleashing a full-scale ground assault.

US President Biden and Israeli PM Netanyahu are set to meet this weekAP

A Palestinian child waits outside the Rafah border crossing with Egypt amid the brutal conflictReuters

Other world leaders are also primed to head to Israel as Biden departs, if the ground assault has not yet started.

Tonight it was reported Rishi Sunak could visit on Thursday as part of a wider tour of the region, which could include stops in Egypt and Jordan.

The US and Britain have backed Israel’s right to crush the Hamas butchers behind the October 7 massacre.

But they are trying to stop Israel falling into a trap set by the Islamist terrorists and igniting a regional conflict.

Diplomats are desperate to extend the window to “exhaust all possible avenues” to rescue foreign nationals in Gaza and hostages captured in the attack.

A source said the West was urging Israel to “delay, delay, delay”.

The UK appealed to Qatar to use its influence over Hamas to help half a dozen British dual nationals thought to be held hostage.

Mr Sunak called leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, leader of the oil rich state, and thanked him for his “constructive role in regional diplomacy”.

A spokesman for No 10 said: “The leaders discussed areas of co-operation between the UK and Qatar, including on ensuring safe passage for aid to Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian suffering and on urgent efforts to secure the release of hostages.”

Experts said Israel’s revenge assault was unlikely to start before tomorrow, and was more likely to come next week.

Biden will also fly to Amman to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s president Abdel el-Sisi and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to stop the catastrophe spiralling into a regional war.

General Sir Richard Barrons, a former UK joint chief, said it would be a huge snub to the US if the assault kicks off before Biden has completed his tour.

He said: “It would be disrespectful to the US President, on whom they rely, to make it look like they were proceeding regardless of the fact he was coming.

“If it starts before Biden gets there, it makes it look like he’s just a spectator. If it starts too soon after he leaves, it looks like he fired a starting gun.”

Meanwhile, MI5’s director­general Ken McCallum fears the crisis in Israel could inspire Islamist extremists to carry out ­terrorist attacks in the UK.

He warned radicals “may choose to strike in a new way”.

However, the UK’s threat level has not changed.

RSmoke rises after an Israeli airstrikes in GazaGetty

Where nations stand

Syria: Militants in Syria have fired rockets at Israel since the Hamas massacres.

The country’s dictator Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Vladimir Putin.

A senior Israeli official has accused Iran of trying to deploy weapons in Syria to open a new war front.

Turkey: Turkey says it’s ready to help de-escalate the conflict.

President Erdogan has offered himself up as a mediator, despite denouncing Israel’s bombardment of Gaza as “not a war but a massacre”.

Iraq: Pro-Iranian militants have threatened to attack US targets in Iraq if Biden “intervenes” to help Israel in its war against Hamas.

Iran: Hamas is armed and funded by the Iranian government, which has warned of “far-reaching consequences” if Israel’s military operation in Gaza is not stopped.

Iran seeks to maintain divisions in the Middle East and was unhappy about Israel and Saudi Arabia getting closer before the attacks.

UK: Providing military aid and standing with Israel in its fight against Hamas, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also urged Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians and escalating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Lebanon: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati is backed by terror group Hezbollah which has been firing rockets at Israel for the past week. There are fears that if the situation escalates Israel could be plunged into a full-scale conflict with Lebanon.

USA: Staunch support for Israel as it seeks to eliminate Hamas but also pressing for ways to ease humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

President Biden, making a landmark wartime visit to Israel, mainly hopes to stop the war from spreading to other countries in the region.

EU: Struggling to agree a united message and leaders are set to meet to clarify the bloc’s stance.

When Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, told Israel it had Europe’s backing there was blowback from some member states.

Egypt: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is a US ally, is worried about Gazan refugees fleeing to his country and never going back so is reluctant to open the Rafah crossing.

Egypt has long played the role of a mediator between Israel and Palestine but has now said Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has “exceeded its right to self defence”.

Jordan: Joe Biden will meet Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss humanitarian aid for Gaza.

Jordan controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem until Israel invaded them in 1967, but the two nations signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Saudi Arabia: Some experts believe that Hamas attacked Israel in order to derail talks which were going to normalise political relations between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia.

Those talks have now been suspended.

UAE: Along with Bahrain, one of only two Arab governments to denounce Hamas.

Prior to the attacks, growing economic and security ties between the two countries and Israel had recently been put under pressure by the Israeli government’s provocative actions and statements towards Palestinians in the West Bank.

China: Criticised Israel’s actions and called for a ceasefire following leader Xi Jinping’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

The two autocrats share a vision of a new international order no longer dominated by the United States and its democratic allies.

Russia: On the side of Hamas as Putin seeks to undermine the US and its allies, and distract the world from its ongoing invasion in Ukraine.

There are reports Russia has indirectly provided arms and training to Hamas, and has turned its massive propaganda regime to supporting the terrorist group.

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