Biden ‘desperate’ to influence reshaping of Middle East

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is “desperate now to try and mould a reshaping of the Middle East that we are seeing potentially unfold right now”.,

But “there is an argument that America has disengaged” over Israel and Palestine across the course of a number of administrations, he said.

The US has “some leverage here, the question is how much”, Stone adds.

US national security council spokesperson John Kirby told Stone that the US could not control Israel’s response.

He declined to speculate on whether there was a line the US would not approve Israel crossing.

Mark Stone (Sky News correspondent in Washington) says the situation seems “so far away from that extraordinary moment” when the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 and people believed peace was possible.

The Oslo Accords refer to an agreement signed at the White House between Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli prime minister, and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) negotiator Mahmoud Abbas.

Under the deal, the PLO recognised Israel’s right to exist and Israel accepted the PLO as representing Palestinians, establishing the Palestinian Authority as governing the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

US having active discussions with Israel over safe corridor from Gaza

The US government is having active discussions with Israel over creating a safe corridor for people to leave Gaza, a White House national security spokesman has said. 

Israel has been attacking the Palestinian enclave in retaliation to the incursion launched by Hamas on Saturday. 

“We believe that safe passage is important and we want to see a safe passage corridor opened up,” John Kirby said. 

It comes as 22 Americans were confirmed dead and 17 remain unaccounted for in Israel. 

Mr Kirby said “less than a handful” of missing US citizens are believed to be hostages of Hamas. 

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