Joe Biden confuses Gaza with Ukraine in latest gaffe – twice

Joe Biden confuses Gaza with Ukraine in latest gaffe – twice

US President Joe Biden got Gaza and Ukraine mixed up when speaking about aid airdrops in Palestine(Picture: Reuters)

Joe Biden twice confused Gaza with Ukraine in yet another blunder as he announced the US will airdrop much-needed aid to Palestinians.

The 81-year-old president spoke a day after more than 100 Palestinians were killed after Israel reportedly opened fire on people trying to access aid from convoy trucks.

Speaking at a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, he said: ‘In the coming days we’re going to join with our friends in Jordan and others who are providing airdrops of additional food and supplies’ and will ‘seek to open up other avenues in, including possibly a marine corridor’.

But on two occasions Biden – the oldest person to become president in US history – said the drops would happen in Ukraine, leaving White House officials to explain that he meant to say Gaza.

It follows concerns about his mental and physical health over recent months.

As well as Jordan, countries that have already carried out aid airdrops over Gaza include Egypt, France, The United Arab Emirates and the UK.

Biden, who has been heavily criticised for financially backing the Israeli military, added: ‘Aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough. Now, it’s nowhere nearly enough.

‘Innocent lives are on the line and children’s lives are on the line. We won’t stand by until we get more aid in there. We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several.’

People mourn following after more than 100 people were killed while trying to access aid (Picture: Reuters)

More than 30,000 people have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the war in October, according to the enclave’s health authorities.

Around 500,000 people, meanwhile, are now facing starvation, say the United Nations, with 2.3 million experiencing acute food shortages.

A number of reports have come in of children already dying from a lack of food.

On Thursday at least 112 people were killed and 280 injured in northern Gaza while they tried to collect food from an aid convoy.

Men carry the body of a Palestinian killed during aid distribution incident (Picture: Reuters)

Biden meets Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House (Picture: Reuters)

Palestinian authorities and witnesses quoted by the Associated Press and AFP say Israeli soldiers opened fire on crowds as they pulled boxes of flour and tinned food off the trucks.

Israeli military officials, however, claimed most of the casualties were caused by a stampede of people trying to get to the food. It said their forces did open fire on a crowd, but after the aid convoy had moved on and only when they were threatened.

The head of a Gaza City hospital that treated some of those wounded said on Friday that more than 80% of those affected had been struck by gunfire.

Palestinians transport casualties after Israeli’s reportedly opened fire on crowds getting aid (Picture: Reuters)

The White House, State Department and Pentagon had been weighing the merits of US military airdrops of assistance for several months, but had held off due to concerns that the method is inefficient, has no way of ensuring the aid gets to civilians in need and cannot make up for overland aid deliveries.

The incident on Thursday appeared to tip the balance and push Biden to approve airdrops.

Biden said earlier this week that a cease-fire deal could be reached by Monday, before tempering his optimism after Thursday’s incident.

But on Friday, Biden said he still held hope that a deal can be struck, possibly before Muslims around the globe begin observing the holy month of Ramadan that is expected to begin on March 10.

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