Middle East

Biden and Netanyahu are expected to meet later this month in Washington, source says

By MJ Lee, CNN

CNN  — 

President Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to meet in Washington, DC, in several weeks when the Israeli prime minister visits to address Congress on July 24, a source familiar told CNN.

US and Israeli officials are still in the process of nailing down logistical details for the Biden-Netanyahu meeting, which would likely take place at the White House, the source said. The two leaders will see each other, barring any abrupt last-minute change in circumstances.

A White House official told CNN that Biden has known Netanyahu for decades, and that “they will likely see each other when the Prime Minister is here over the course of that week. But we have nothing to announce at this time.”

CNN has also reached out to the prime minister’s office for comment.

The meeting this month would come as a ceasefire and hostage deal in the Israel-Hamas war remains stalled, and as tensions between Biden and Netanyahu have escalated in recent months as the US has grown increasingly frustrated with the way Israel has executed the war, including the lack of protections for civilians.

Netanyahu said last week he was still “committed” to an Israeli ceasefire and hostage release proposal outlined by Biden in May, which sets out conditions intended to lead to the release of all remaining hostages, a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The prime minister had faced backlash after initially saying he would accept “a partial deal.”

Biden and Netanyahu have spoken by phone regularly since Hamas’ October 7 attacks, and they last met in person when the president flew to Tel Aviv in the days immediately following the brutal assault. The president has grown increasingly willing to publicly share his impatience and criticism.

Last month, Biden said in an interview that Netanyahu may be dragging out the war in an attempt to cling to power and said it was “uncertain” whether Israel had committed war crimes.

More recently, Netanyahu prompted intense frustration in Washington when he publicly claimed the Biden administration was “withholding weapons” in a video posted to X claiming that Secretary of State Antony Blinken “assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks.”

CNN reported that US envoy Amos Hochstein told Netanyahu in response that the prime minister’s comments were “unproductive” and “more importantly, completely untrue,” and that American officials went through a line-by-line explanation of hundreds of US weapons shipments to Israel with the country’s defense minister in a bid to rebut Netanyahu’s claims.

CNN’s Jack Forrest, Christian Edwards, Tara John, Kevin Liptak, Natasha BertrandArlette SaenzJennifer HanslerKylie Atwood, Melanie ZanonaOren Liebermann and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn contributed to this report.

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