Israel and the United States discussed Biden's possible visit

President Biden

Israel and the United States discussed Biden's possible visit after Netanyahu extended the invitation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited President Joe Biden to visit Israel soon, and the two countries are discussing the possibility, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

It was unclear how far the discussions were progressing or when the potential trip might occur.

The White House said on Sunday that the president had no new travel plans to announce. "We do not have any new travel to announce," National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

If achieved, the trip would be a dramatic display of Biden's support for Israel as the country responds to devastating attacks by Hamas last weekend.

Israel indicates that it is preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza even as the humanitarian crisis inside the coastal Palestinian enclave increases. Biden has called for the protection of civilians, and the United States is working to alleviate food, water, and gas shortages.

Biden's visit will also message other players in the region, including Iran-backed Hezbollah, that they should not escalate the conflict further.

The trip will be followed by high-stakes shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has traveled between countries in the region over the past few days. The president will likely come with a message similar to that of his chief diplomat, including the need to protect civilian lives.

Biden spoke on Saturday with both Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This is Biden's fifth phone call with Netanyahu since the attack that occurred last weekend.

The United States announced on Saturday that it was sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean "to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts to expand this war," according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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