24 May 2024, 10:57
Update : 24 May 2024, 11:01

Netanyahu to address US Congress 'soon': House Speaker

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu will soon address the US Congress, Republican House Speaker Mike
Johnson announced Thursday, amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas
militants in the Gaza strip.

"We will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint
session of Congress," Johnson said, adding that the visit would mark "a very
strong show of support to the Israeli government."

The invitation comes after a double setback suffered by Israel this week: the
recognition by three European countries of a Palestinian state and the
announcement by the International Criminal Court prosecutor that he would
seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu as well as Hamas leaders over alleged war
crimes during the Gaza conflict.

The United States has been a steadfast supporter of Israel in its war that
was triggered by the shocking cross-border attack on October 7 by Hamas

But Democratic President Joe Biden has increasingly been pushing Netanyahu to
tame his operation in Gaza amid a mounting civilian death toll and threatened
to halt arms supplies, a line opposed by Republicans.

The White House has voiced frustration with Israel in particular over its
military operations in the Gaza city of Rafah, where more than one million
people are sheltering.

Republicans have assailed Biden over his arms supply threat and Johnson has
accused Biden of "carrying water" for Hamas.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war broke out after Hamas's unprecedented attack on
October 7 resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians,
according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 124 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37
the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,800 people in Gaza,
mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health

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