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U.S. President Biden Biden reschedules meeting with Israeli PM Bennett after two terror attacks in Kabul

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According to the Pentagon, at least 12 U.S. military members and dozens of Afghan civilians were killed near the Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate. Another explosion happened at the nearby Baron Hotel, where British forces were helping to facilitate the evacuation.

“On behalf of the people of Israel, I share our deep sadness over the loss of American lives in Kabul. Israel stands with the United States in these difficult times, just as America has always stood with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the United States,” Bennett said in a statement regarding the attacks.

By JNS

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s much anticipated first meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden has been postponed for Friday after news of a terror attack near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“On behalf of the people of Israel, I share our deep sadness over the loss of American lives in Kabul. Israel stands with the United States in these difficult times, just as America has always stood with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the United States,” Bennett said in a statement regarding the attacks.

Bennett was originally scheduled to meet Biden and his staff for two bilateral meetings beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at the White House, but the president’s plans changed after a reported explosion near the airport.

According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, several American military personnel were killed in the attack, as well as Afghan civilians who were near the airport’s Abbey Gate. Another explosion happened at the nearby Baron Hotel, where British forces were helping to facilitate the evacuation.

At least 12 U.S. military members and dozens of civilians were killed in the attack, according to The Washington Post. The attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State terror group.

Biden has been preoccupied during the day with his national security team, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and commanders on the ground.

At the time that the first meeting with Bennett was supposed to occur, the White House announced that it was postponed indefinitely; later, it was rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday. At press time, it remains unclear whether that time will be kept or if the meeting will occur at all.

The Israeli Prime Minister, who arrived in the United States on Tuesday, had a planned meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Israel on Sunda. That visit from Merkel was canceled, according to The Associated Press, as Germany is scrambling to evacuate its own citizens and forces from Afghanistan.

Bennett is expected to meet briefly with Biden before holding an expanded bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. His entourage includes National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata, the prime minister’s chief of staff Tal Gan-Zvi, cabinet secretary Shalom Shlomo, military secretary to the prime minister Lt. Gen. Avi Gil, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and foreign-policy adviser Shimrit Meir.

A day earlier, Bennett met with senior Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as AIPAC officials, including its Executive Director Howard Kohr.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz condemned the terror attack at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, reiterating that Israel “stands with our American partners.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with the U.S. troops and the Afghan people in Kabul, following the attacks that recently took place. I extend my condolences for the lives lost and pray for the rapid recovery of the injured. We stand with our American partners,” he posted on Twitter.

American Jewish groups express grief and schock after Kabul terrorist attacks

The America Jewish Committee said, “We are horrified by reports of a dual suicide bombing in Kabul that has claimed the lives of both Afghan civilians and US service members. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this time.”

“We are shocked and saddened by the Kabul Airport terrorist attacks,” commented the American Jewish Congress. “We support all efforts to bring calm now to Kabul and call for safety & security to be restored.”

“We mourn the lives tragically lost today in Kabul, including American service members, and remain deeply concerned with the safety of Americans, Afghans and our partners,” said the Jewish Democratic Council of America. “Our prayers are with all those affected by the explosions.”

EJP contributed to this report

 

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