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Biden, in Israel, Says Hospital Blast Caused by Militants

(Reuters) - A massive blast at a Gaza hospital killed huge numbers of Palestinians, wrecking an emergency diplomatic mission by U.S. President Joe Biden, who backed Israel's account that the explosion was caused by militants, not by Israel.

Biden arrived in Israel to show support for its war against Hamas, but following the explosion at the hospital, Arab leaders called off the second half of his itinerary, a summit with Arab neighbours in Amman.

Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for the huge blast and fireball which engulfed the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital, and said it killed as many as 500 people.

Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said: "I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you."

"But there's a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot, we’ve got to overcome a lot of things," Biden added.

"The world is looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does, and other democracies, and they are looking to see what we are going to do."

Biden's trip to the Middle East was supposed to calm the region, even as he demonstrated U.S. support for its ally Israel, which has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement whose fighters killed 1,400 Israelis in a rampage on Oct. 7.

But after the hospital blast, Jordan cancelled the second half of Biden's itinerary: a planned summit in Amman with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to shore up aid to Gaza and avert wider war.

Netanyahu thanked Biden for his "unequivocal support". Herzog's office said Herzog had told Biden: "God bless you for protecting the nation of Israel."

Biden, in Israel, Says Hospital Blast Caused by Militants

Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

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(Reuters) - A massive blast at a Gaza hospital killed huge numbers of Palestinians, wrecking an emergency diplomatic mission by U.S. President Joe Biden, who backed Israel's account that the explosion was caused by militants, not by Israel.

Biden arrived in Israel to show support for its war against Hamas, but following the explosion at the hospital, Arab leaders called off the second half of his itinerary, a summit with Arab neighbours in Amman.

Palestinian officials blamed an Israeli air strike for the huge blast and fireball which engulfed the Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital, and said it killed as many as 500 people.

Israel said the blast was caused by a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, which denied blame.

Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden said: "I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you."

"But there's a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot, we’ve got to overcome a lot of things," Biden added.

"The world is looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does, and other democracies, and they are looking to see what we are going to do."

Biden's trip to the Middle East was supposed to calm the region, even as he demonstrated U.S. support for its ally Israel, which has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement whose fighters killed 1,400 Israelis in a rampage on Oct. 7.

But after the hospital blast, Jordan cancelled the second half of Biden's itinerary: a planned summit in Amman with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to shore up aid to Gaza and avert wider war.

Netanyahu thanked Biden for his "unequivocal support". Herzog's office said Herzog had told Biden: "God bless you for protecting the nation of Israel."

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