US President Joe Biden has hinted that one of the reasons behind Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel was the recent announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor that integrates the entire region with a network of rail, road, and ports.
“I’m convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did, and I have no proof of this, just my instinct tells me, is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel, and regional integration overall. We can’t leave that work behind,” Biden said.
The US President made the remarks during a joint press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese on Wednesday (US local time).
During the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.
The corridor will encourage and provide impetus to economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as per sources.
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will consist of two separate corridors, the East corridor connecting India to West Asia/Middle East and the Northern corridor connecting West Asia/Middle East to Europe.
It will include a rail line, which upon completion, will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement the existing multi-modal transport routes enhancing transhipment of goods and services between South East Asia through India to West Asia/Middle East Europe.
Biden recently lauded the corridor and said the project will spur opportunities for investment across two continents.
He said that the rail port project is part of an effort to build a more sustainable, integrated Middle East.
Meanwhile, the Israel-Hamas war has entered its 20th day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his goal against the Hamas war is “saving the nation” and promised that a ground incursion to destroy Hamas in Gaza will start soon, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
He said Israel is getting ready for a ground operation, but will not share when or how. He says he will not share the range of considerations involved.
“We are preparing for a ground incursion. I won’t specify when, how, how many. I also won’t detail the range of considerations, most of which the public is not aware of. And that’s the way it is supposed to be. This is the way so that we protect our soldiers’ lives.”
In an address to the nation, PM Netanyahu said, “Israel is in the midst of a fight for our existence. The war’s two aims are “to eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governance capabilities, and to do everything possible to get our hostages back.”