By Athena Papakosta

As of this writing, United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is well over eight (!) hours into a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the expanded cabinet of the new national emergency government. Shortly after 3 in the morning, the American Foreign Minister announced that TUS President Joe Biden is traveling to Israel tomorrow, Wednesday.

The timing of his return to Israel and the arrival of the American president in the country is critical, since the Israeli armed forces are on the trigger for the start of the ground invasion of Gaza. the Rafa crossing remains closed and part of it has been destroyed by Israeli bombardment while the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens and hundreds of people remain hostages in the hands of Hamas gunmen.

The new meeting of the American Secretary of State with the Israeli Prime Minister was the second in a period of five days and it occurred when Anthony Blinken had now completed an express tour of six Arab countries: Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates , Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Blinken’s second visit to Israel turns out to be related to a new round of consultations with the Israeli leadership and also to the transfer of the messages collected by the American Foreign Minister during his diplomatic sprint in the Middle East.

It is a fact that the United States is concerned to diffuse the conflict in the region. US President Joe Biden’s unprecedented move to send two US aircraft carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean proved early on America’s intention to force the Shiite, pro-Iranian Hezbollah to think twice and thrice about whether to attack Israel from the north and the east. south Lebanon.

At the same time, the containment of Israel remains a constant part of Washington’s strategy since the American side considers that a sharp and large increase in the number of dead civilians in Gaza would dangerously raise the temperature in the already hot Middle East. Already during the announcement of Biden’s arrival in Israel, it became known that the president of the United States will be briefed on Israel’s strategic goals as well as how Israeli operations will be conducted to minimize civilian casualties. Blinken’s statements – during his departure from Cairo – in which he called on Israel to “avoid harming civilians” were preceded by the statement of the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, that “Israel’s reaction exceeds the limits of its self-defense and amounts to collective punishment” but also a barrage of leaks from the side of Tehran that “Iran will not remain an observer” in this situation “if the crimes in Gaza continue”.

Under the nightmare scenario of the conflict spilling over, diplomatic fever fortunately persists, but the next few days are expected to prove critical since President Biden immediately after completing his visit to Tel Aviv will go to Jordan where he will have contacts with the country’s king, Abdullah, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.