Hazem Qassem, the spokesperson for Hamas, said on Tuesday the US stance toward the Palestinian people was “aggressive” and claimed that Biden’s visit was aimed at providing financial and moral support to Israel while encouraging the latter to “commit more massacres against Palestinians.”
Qassem told CNN in a telephone interview: “Unfortunately the US administration and the US President Biden took a very aggressive measure against the Palestinian people and fell for the Israeli narrative.
“His visit is only to support the Israelis financially and morally and to encourage the occupation to commit more massacres against our Palestinian brothers and sisters, children and the elderly.”
A significant number of casualties in Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday were individuals who had fled from northern areas of Gaza to the south, Qassem stated. Two-thirds of the casualties were women and children, he added.
Biden will make a high-stakes visit to Israel on Wednesday as it prepares to escalate an offensive against Hamas fighters.
Biden’s visit will mark a significant show of US support for its top Middle East ally after Hamas fighters attacked southern Israel on October 7. Death toll on the Israeli side has reached 1,400 people on Tuesday.
Israel has responded by tightening its blockade on the besieged enclave, including by restricting the entry of fuel, and bombarding the area with air raids that have killed more than 3,000 Palestinians and displaced hundreds of thousands more.
Biden’s trip is a rare and risky choice, showing the US backing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Washington tries to avert a broader regional war involving Iran, Hezbollah and Syria.
It comes as Israel is preparing a ground offensive in Gaza expected to intensify the enclave’s humanitarian crisis.