Israel Prepares for US President Biden’s Visit
Israel was preparing Tuesday for US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Jewish state as part of the president’s first trip to the Middle East since taking office. President Biden will spend about 48 hours in Israel and the West Bank.
More than 16,000 police officers and volunteers were deployed, mainly in Jerusalem, to secure the two-day visit starting Wednesday, the police said. The Israel Police say Highway 1, the main route connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, will be closed for two hours in both directions upon President Biden’s arrival.
Traffic jams and roadblocks are expected in central Israel, Jerusalem, and the highways leading to the city.
Air Force One, the American presidential plane, is expected to land at Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv at 3:20 pm local time (12:20 UTC). President Biden will be received in an official welcome ceremony at the airport, with the participation of Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement that President Biden would be welcomed with an official ceremony and that would tour the multitiered air defense array, including the powerful Iron Beam laser for shooting down rockets, unmanned aerial vehicles, and mortar shells, which has been brought to the airport for the visit.
Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz will present President Biden with Israel’s anti-missile capabilities. The defense minister will also provide an overview of bilateral security cooperation.
On Thursday, President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid will have a one-on-one meeting, followed by an extended meeting between their teams.
Later, a summit via video will be held between the US president, the Israeli prime minister, United Arab Emirates President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The leaders are expected to discuss global food and fuel crises.
President Biden will also travel on Friday to Bethlehem in the West Bank to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before flying to Saudi Arabia.