December 03, 2023

US President Joe Biden's wartime trip to Israel and Jordan faltered before it got off the ground Tuesday, after the Amman leg was canceled following a strike on a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds of people. Yet Biden will now be flying into an even more volatile situation than before, with the hospital strike sparking anger across the region. Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah called for a "day of rage" over the strike to coincide with Biden's arrival, fueling fears of the very escalation by Tehran and its allies that Biden's visit is supposed to warn against. Even before the hospital attack, the New York Times called it a "trip fraught with risks." Anger over the hospital strike could meanwhile undermine the wider purpose of Biden's visit as he tries to prevent the Israel-Hamas war engulfing the wider Middle East.