King Abdullah, in his first in-person discussion with President Biden since the onset of the Gaza conflict, voiced strong opposition to an Israeli military incursion into the city of Rafah, asserting that such action would inevitably result in another humanitarian disaster. President Biden echoed these concerns during their meeting at the White House, emphasizing that any potential ground offensive by Israel must be accompanied by a credible plan to safeguard the safety of the over one million individuals seeking refuge in Rafah.
The Jordanian monarch’s visit to the United States aimed to garner international support for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, a move he deems essential for ending the ongoing hostilities. While President Biden has upheld Israel’s right to self-defense, he has advocated for a temporary cessation of hostilities to facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas and to pave the way for a more enduring solution.
Jordan, with a significant Palestinian population, finds itself in a delicate position amid the conflict, balancing its alliance with the United States and its peace treaty with Israel with the humanitarian concerns in Gaza. King Abdullah emphasized the dire situation in Rafah and urged for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent further suffering.
President Biden condemned the escalating death toll in Gaza, labeling each innocent life lost as a tragedy. However, while his criticism of the conflict has intensified, the United States has yet to signal substantial policy changes, such as conditioning aid to Israel based on its military actions.
Efforts to broker a cease-fire have involved intermediaries like Egypt and Qatar, with the United States actively engaged in negotiations to halt the fighting and secure the release of hostages. President Biden reiterated the U.S. commitment to pursuing a two-state solution as the only path towards lasting peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis.
As diplomatic efforts continue, including talks in Cairo, the focus remains on securing a temporary pause in hostilities to pave the way for more sustainable solutions. CIA Director William J. Burns’ scheduled visit to Cairo underscores the United States’ commitment to facilitating negotiations and resolving the crisis.
Despite tensions between Jordan and Israel, both countries share a border and maintain crucial regional ties. However, King Abdullah has been vocal in criticizing Israel’s military actions in Gaza, adding strain to their bilateral relations.