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Palestinian President cancels meeting with Biden following hospital attack

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled a planned meeting with US President Joe Biden, a senior official said.This came after an Israeli strike on a Gaza hospital killed hundreds on Tuesday.The meeting was scheduled to take place in Jordan. The senior Palestinian official said Abbas was returning to Ramallah, the seat of his government in the occupied West Bank, Reuters reported.

In an official statement, the White House earlier said, “President Biden will then travel to Amman, Jordan, where he will meet with his Majesty King Abdullah, Egyptian President Sisi, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.””He will reiterate that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination and discuss the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza,” the statement said.Israel had declared war on Hamas earlier this month after a surprise attack killed more than 1400 people and took around 200 hostages.The retaliatory air strikes have since killed more than 2,700 people in Palestine. Israel has also imposed a crippling siege on Gaza and deployed tens of thousands of troops to the border in preparation for a ground offensive.There is growing concern that the escalating war in Gaza could spill over into a wider Middle East conflict.The US military ordered 2,000 personnel to prepare for deployment to the Middle East as a show of force on Tuesday. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby however told CNN that the country presently had no plans to actually ‘put US boots on the ground in combat in Israel’. Biden is set to visit Israel amid an ongoing war with Hamas fighters. The trip was first confirmed by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and later in an official statement from the White House said that US President Joe Biden will visit Israel Wednesday in a show of “ironclad” support.The visit comes almost 12 days after Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, an ally of the US, declared war on Hamas fighters and unleashed incessant bombarding on Gaza, killing 3,00 people and wounding 12,500.

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