US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a solidarity visit in the aftermath of Hamas assaults, which have heightened regional tensions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally greeted Biden on the tarmac, wrapping his arms around the US president, who then clasped his hands around Netanyahu, indicating the two leaders’ newfound friendship.
Biden and Netanyahu spoke briefly on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport, flanked by their guards, before their motorcades moved off for a Tel Aviv hotel where they will hold discussions, under exceptionally high security even for the US president.
Hundreds of armed police and army surrounded the oceanfront Tel Aviv hotel where Netanyahu and Biden will meet, with armed snipers stationed on the roofs of surrounding villas.
Tel Aviv is only 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which Israel has been shelling since a catastrophic October 7 attack by Hamas militants.