“EWe stand with the State of Israel in its fight against terrorism, especially at this time when Hamas still holds American and Israeli citizens captive and its leaders endanger regional stability”, highlighted the four parliamentary leaders of the House of Representatives (lower house) and the Senate (upper house), in the invitation to the head of the Israeli Government.

This is a show of support for the long-time ally, despite growing political divisions over Israel’s military attack on Gaza, specifically, more recently, on Rafah, in the south of the enclave.

The invitation from Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and lower chamber Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, had been in the works for some time.

No date has yet been set for the speech, but the invitation comes at a time when the Israel-Hamas war, now in its seventh month, has caused widespread concerns in the US and abroad about Israel’s conduct and the extensive number of civilian deaths.

An intervention in Congress could expose divisions in an election year in the US. A growing number of Democrats have distanced themselves from the right-wing Israeli prime minister, while Republicans have moved closer to Netanyahu.

It is also unclear at this time whether Biden and Netanyahu will hold any meetings in Washington.

In Congress, debates over the war between Israel and Hamas were intense, heated and divisive, amplified during protests on college campuses in the spring.

Schumer, a Jewish elected official in the US, delivered a scathing rebuke of the Israeli leader in March, saying in a speech that Netanyahu had “lost his way.”

Republicans, including presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, have been eager to demonstrate their support for Netanyahu and expose Democratic divisions over Israel.

Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip following a deadly Hamas attack on October 7, in which Palestinian militants invaded southern Israeli territory, killed nearly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 250 hostage.

The large-scale Israeli retaliatory operation in the Palestinian enclave has already killed more than 36,000 people, most of them civilians, according to the local Hamas government, and has left the territory in a serious humanitarian crisis.

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2572396/netanyahu-convidado-a-discursar-perante-o-congresso-dos-eua

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