President Biden arrives in Israel on high-stakes diplomatic trip to war-torn region

In World

President Joe Biden arrived in Israel under heavy security on Wednesday as he visits the war-torn region on a high-stakes diplomatic trip.

His visit comes a day after a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital killed at more than 500 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The White House said Tuesday evening that the death toll resulting from Hamas’ initial attack in Israel had risen to 31 Americans killed, with 13 Americans still unaccounted for.

The update came from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and spokesman John Kirby, during an audio-only briefing aboard Air Force One while en route to Israel.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is planning is impose new sanctions on several Hamas leaders this week, according to a U.S. official.

The Treasury Department is planning to announce the sanctions sometime this week, the official said. The Treasury Department declined to comment.

Earlier Tuesday, a top Treasury official pledged that his agency would “bring our tools to bear against Hamas’ financing and the overall funding of terrorism.”

“Disrupting Hamas’ financing operations is not new to us; this has been a priority for Treasury for decades,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said at a conference. “We are equipped to target this infrastructure and its supporters, whether they be political leadership, operatives, facilitators, financiers, investors, or entire global procurement networks.”

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