Netanyahu to address US Congress ‘soon’: House Speaker

Netanyahu rival says Israel lost deterrence against Iran
Source: Video Screenshot

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon address the US Congress, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson announced Thursday, amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza strip.

“We will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint session of Congress,” Johnson said, adding that the visit would mark “a very strong show of support to the Israeli government.”

The invitation comes after a double setback suffered by Israel this week: the recognition by three European countries of a Palestinian state and the announcement by the International Criminal Court prosecutor that he would seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu as well as Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes during the Gaza conflict.

The United States has been a steadfast supporter of Israel in its war that was triggered by the shocking cross-border attack on October 7 by Hamas militants.

But Democratic President Joe Biden has increasingly been pushing Netanyahu to tame his operation in Gaza amid a mounting civilian death toll and threatened to halt arms supplies, a line opposed by Republicans.

The White House has voiced frustration with Israel in particular over its military operations in the Gaza city of Rafah, where more than one million people are sheltering.

Republicans have assailed Biden over his arms supply threat and Johnson has accused Biden of “carrying water” for Hamas.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war broke out after Hamas’s unprecedented attack on October 7 resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 124 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,800 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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