Biden 'looks forward' to Israel visit later this year: White House

Biden 'looks forward' to Israel visit later this year: White House
2 min read
07 February, 2022
US President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett he intends to visit Israel later this year and conveyed full support for replenishing the Iron Dome defence system.
President Biden thanked the Israeli Prime Minister for his invitation to Israel [Getty]

US President Joe Biden is looking forward to a visit to Israel later this year, he told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a phone call between the two leaders on Sunday, according to a White House statement.

Biden also conveyed his "unwavering support" for Israel's security and "full support" for replenishing the Iron Dome air defence system. The pair also discussed fears that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, the White House said.

"The President thanked the Prime Minister for his invitation to visit Israel and said he looks forward to a visit later this year," the statement said.

The US leader hosted Bennett at the White House last year, where the pair glossed over their differences and put up a united front.

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Israel fiercely opposes Biden's attempt to reverse his predecessor Donald Trump's withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Bennett has also said he will continue settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territories and said he was against a Palestinian state in territories Israel captured in 1967.

The West Bank, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, is home to almost three million Palestinians.

Israeli settlements, which house some 700,000 Jewish settlers, are one of the main obstacles to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. The settlements are deemed "illegal" by much of the international community, including the UN, which has repeatedly urged Tel Aviv to suspend constructions.

Biden spoke with Bennett to "reaffirm the warm and historic partnership between the United States and Israel," The White House said on Sunday.

They discussed security in the Middle East, "including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies".

Biden underscored his commitment to stability in the region "together with Israelis and Palestinians enjoying equal measures of security, freedom, and prosperity."