Over the weekend, speculation mounted that President Joe Biden was considering a trip to Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited him in the wake of the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks.
Early reports, as reported by Breitbart, indicated that the U.S. president had turned down Netanyahu's invite.
After those reports surfaced, it didn't take the White House long to reverse that decision, though it remained unclear why Biden originally decided he wasn't going to make the visit.
After announcing Monday night that the president would, in fact, meet with Netanyahu in Israel, it quickly made international headlines, given the gravity of the situation still unfolding in the Middle East.
Early Wednesday morning, U.S. time, reports surfaced that Biden had landed in Israel, with CNN describing the trip as "an extraordinary high-stakes" trip.
Video footage spread across social media of Biden's landing in Israel. One video showed him hugging Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders after deboarding Air Force One.
BREAKING: Israel PM Netanyahu greet Biden with a hug as US President arrives in Tel Aviv
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 18, 2023
Aside from meeting Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, Biden was originally set to meet with several top Arab leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to discuss humanitarian issues for the Palestinian people.
That part of the trip was ultimately canceled after a missile struck a Palestinian hospital and presumably killed and injured hundreds. Israel said the attack was the result of a misfired rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, though the other side disagrees.
A failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization hit the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City.
IAF footage from the area around the hospital before and after the failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization: pic.twitter.com/AvCAkQULAf
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 18, 2023
The hospital explosion caused a scramble of Biden’s plans for the trip as the president walked onto Air Force One.
The explosion and subsequent blame game will hang over Biden’s meetings in Israel, where he is expected to meet face-to-face with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials.
As far as Biden's goals for his time in Israel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby laid out his mission to reporters.
"He’s going to get a sense from the Israelis about the situation on the ground, and, more critically, their objectives, their plans, their intentions in the days and weeks ahead," Kirby said.
Many believe that Israel has delayed its massive ground invasion of Gaza due to the U.S. president's visit.