Israel's Netanyahu to address US Congress soon, Johnson says

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Israel's Netanyahu to address US Congress soon, Johnson says

YEREVAN, MAY 24, ARMENPRESS. Republican US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Thursday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would soon address a joint meeting of Congress amid heightened tension with President Joe Biden over the Israeli leader's handling of the war in Gaza, Reuters reports.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Israeli embassy's annual Independence Day reception, Johnson, the top congressional Republican and a critic of the Democratic president’s Israel policy, said it would be “a strong show of support for the Israeli government in their time of greatest need.”

The diplomatic gathering in Washington comes amid strains between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Ministerover a US push for Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in the war against Hamas militants in Gaza, the report adds.

Johnson said to applause: "Tonight I'm happy to announce ... we will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint session of Congress."

Johnson also condemned the International Criminal Court prosecutor's decision this week to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and his defense chief, Yoav Gallant. The prosecutor also asked for warrants to capture Hamas leaders responsible for the deadly Oct. 7 cross-border attack on Israel, which triggered the Gaza war, Reuters adds.

Israel is fighting to wipe out Hamas militants who attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Palestinian authorities say more than 35,700 people have been killed during Israel's campaign in Gaza.


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