Jordan canceled plans to host President Joe Biden for a summit after a hospital in Gaza was allegedly struck by an Israeli rocket, Fox News reported. Biden was expected to meet with leaders in the area Wednesday as part of his trip to the region.
Leaders in the region were slated to attend the summit that was called off in protest of the deadly bombing in Gaza on Tuesday. The meeting was set to take place in Amman, Jordan, as a stop on Biden's trip to Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was set to attend as was the president of Egypt and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The meeting was supposed to be about the ongoing war that began when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than a thousand people.
The foreign minister of Jordan said that the summit was canceled as the war was "pushing the region to the brink." He told the state-run media that the meeting would be postponed but gave no indication of plans for the future.
Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas are pointing fingers at one another over who was responsible for the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital that killed 500 people Tuesday. The Israeli Defense Forces believe that the hospital was hit by a failed rocket launch by the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad.
This Palestinian terrorist organization sometimes works with Hamas but is considered to be even more radical. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have financial backing from Iran and would have reason to cover their tracks.
However, Hamas claims that Israel is responsible for the blast at the hospital, according to Hamas Health Ministry. That claim is in conflict with Israel's findings that the rocket was launched from somewhere near the hospital in Gaza, which would support its claim that it was a friendly-fire incident.
"From the analysis of the operational systems of the IDF, an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit," a spokesperson from the IDF claimed. "According to intelligence information from several sources we have, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is responsible for the failed shooting that hit the hospital," the spokesperson added.
Biden seemed to agree with that assessment when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During their joint press conference, Biden said that Israel was blameless in that incident, Fox News said in a separate report.
"I was outraged by the bombing of the hospital yesterday. Based on what I’ve seen, it was done by the other team," Biden said.
"Not you," he added, addressing Netanyahu. "But there's a lot of people out there who are not sure," Biden went on.
"The world is looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does, and other democracies, and they're looking to see what we're going to do," the president added.
As for Netanyahu, he expressed gratitude to Biden. "We see that support and your steadfast commitment to provide Israel with the tools we need to defend ourselves. We see that support and the clear message you send our enemies not to test our resolve. And in the two American carrier battle groups that you send to the region. To back up those words with action," the prime minister said.
It's refreshing to see a Democratic administration support Israel, and Biden has the added distinction of being the first American president to visit during wartime. However, the fact that world leaders canceled the summit is a troubling sign of what might come next in the region regardless of the good feelings between Biden and Netanyahu.