Netanyahu To Address Congress Amid Tensions With Biden

Benjamin Netanyahu (Twitter)
June 3, 2024

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on June 13, Punchbowl News reported on Monday, following an invitation by top lawmakers intended as a show of support despite partisan divides over the Gaza war.

Netanyahu's handling of the war, during which tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, has heightened tensions with President Joe Biden's administration.

The Israeli premier is unlikely to meet with Biden during his time in Washington. The U.S. president is scheduled to be in Puglia, Italy, for a G7 leaders' summit taking place June 13-15.

Addresses to joint meetings of Congress by foreign leaders are a rare honor generally reserved for the closest U.S. allies or major world figures. Netanyahu has already given three such addresses, most recently in 2015.

This speech would make Netanyahu the first foreign leader to address joint meetings of Congress four times. He is currently tied at three with Britain's wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill.

The Gaza war was precipitated by a Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7 that killed around 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies.