What's on Biden's schedule on his last day in Israel?

President Biden will travel to Bethlehem to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

 US President Joe Biden meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)
US President Joe Biden meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

US President Joe Biden will depart Israel Friday afternoon, on a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Saudi Arabia.

Much of his last day will focus on the Palestinian Authority, as he expected to announce that the US will contribute $100 million for the east Jerusalem hospital network. According to a senior administration official, the network provides services to 50,000 patients from east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza annually.

“At the meeting, President Biden will underscore his commitment to a two-state solution which President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid both affirm their support for at the press conference.”

US official

Meeting with Abbas

After visiting the Augusta Victoria hospital – without being accompanied by Israeli officials – he will travel to Bethlehem where he will meet with Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.

“At the meeting, President Biden will underscore his commitment to a two-state solution which President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid both affirm their support for at the press conference,” the official said.

President Biden will announce an additional $201 million for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the official said. “It has been a priority for President Biden to rebuild ties with the Palestinians that were severed by the previous administration.”

Then US Vice-President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. (credit: REUTERS/DEBBIE HILL/POOL)Then US Vice-President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. (credit: REUTERS/DEBBIE HILL/POOL)

Biden will also announce that Israel and the Palestinian Authority will relaunch Israeli Palestinian economic discussions by reconvening the Joint Economic Committee that last met all the way back in 2009, the official added, saying this is “a long-awaited step.”

Later, he will visit the Church of the Nativity, “to underscore support for Christians who face challenges in the region, the official continued. “

Flight to Saudi Arabia

After that, he will become the first American President to fly directly from Israel to Saudi Arabia, where he will carry a message encouraging peace, stability, and an integrated, more interconnected region.

”After landing in Jeddah, President Biden will have bilateral meetings with Saudi leaders including the King, the Crown Prince, and ministers from across the Saudi government together with his team," said the official.

Speaking about Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the official said that Biden is “committed to ensuring that the United States will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East to be filled by China, Russia or others.”

“That would be a great danger to the Middle East, to the people of the Middle East, and ultimately to the United States of America,” the official said. “So for Putin to be visiting Tehran at this moment in history, and we know that he is hoping to receive a significant number of drones and UAVs from Iran to fight his illegal war on aggression in Ukraine - that speaks for itself. Putin is making a bet on Iran, we’re making a bet on a stable, more integrated, more prosperous, more secure, Middle East.”