Biden backs Israel's account of deadly Gaza hospital explosion after US intelligence review

ITV News' John Ray recounts President Joe Biden's eight-hour visit to Israel where he said he backed its government's account of the deadly explosion at the al-Ahli hospital

Joe Biden has backed Israel's account that it was not behind a deadly explosion at a hospital in Gaza City, saying responsibility appears to lie with Palestinian militants.

According to the US president, information was still being collected by American intelligence officials, but he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you".

Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry has said almost 500 people were killed on Tuesday evening, after an explosion at the al-Ahli hospital.

Hamas - a proscribed terror group - has blamed Israeli airstrikes for the incident.

Israel, in turn, has denied any involvement and claimed a misfired missile from Islamic Jihad was the cause.

President Biden met with Mr Netanyahu on Wednesday after flying into Israel, and told his counterpart he was "deeply saddened and outraged" by the hospital explosion.

But he said he believes Israel's claim that Islamic Jihad is to blame, following a review of US intelligence.

A US National Security spokesperson said the latest assessment was "based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information".

President Biden reiterated his support for Israel during his talks with Mr Netanyahu, who called his overseas visit "deeply, deeply moving".

"I know I speak for all the people of Israel when I say thank you Mr President, thank you for standing with Israel today, tomorrow and always," Mr Netanyahu said.

Elsewhere, President Biden said Israel had agreed to allow humanitarian assistance to begin flowing into Gaza from Egypt, with the understanding it would be subject to inspections and that it should go to civilians and not Hamas militants.

Israel has confirmed food, water and medicine will be allowed into Gaza, but it has not yet given any timescale for when this will begin.

The US president also pledged to donate $100 million (£82 million) in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and the West Bank.

President Biden had been due to visit Jordan to meet with Arab leaders on Wednesday, but the summit was cancelled in the wake of the al-Ahli hospital explosion.

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