Jerusalem24 – AXIOS – President Biden has accepted an invitation to visit Israel as part of his first Middle East tour since taking office, a statement from the White House has confirmed. During the 24 April phone call between Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, both parties reaffirmed their “strong personal bond”, with Biden further reaffirming his “unwavering support for Israel and its defense needs, and [welcoming] the historic $1 billion allocation to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system”.
According to Axios, Israel is now eyeing the possibility of holding a second regional forum with Biden as a participant, building on the “momentum” of the March 2022 Negev summit attended by various leaders of the Abraham Accord signatories as well as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
The summit drew wide protests from Palestinians who have persistently condemned Arab states’ normalization of diplomatic, security, and economic relations with Israel.
The White House declined to comment on whether such a summit would take place.
A White House team arrived in Israel last Monday to make preparations for the visit. While a date hasn’t been set, Israeli officials expect it to fall within the last two weeks of June and to last no more than 24 to 36 hours, during which time Biden is also expected to meet with Palestinian officials in Bethlehem.