US President Joe Biden has raised the possibility that the recent announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) integration may have played a role in inciting the terrorist attack launched by Hamas on Israel. Speaking at a joint news conference with the Australian Prime Minister, Biden admitted that his analysis was based on instinct rather than concrete proof.
While discussing the recent clashes between Israel and Hamas, Biden expressed his conviction that one of the reasons behind Hamas's attack was the progress made towards regional integration for Israel. The IMEEC, announced on the sidelines of the G20 summit, aims to connect India, the Middle East, and Europe through an extensive network of railways. The economic corridor, seen by many as an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative, was jointly revealed by leaders from the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.
This is not the first time that President Biden has mentioned the IMEEC as a potential motive for the Hamas attack. He believes that the promise of regional integration, embodied by the economic corridor, threatened Hamas's position. Nonetheless, Biden acknowledges that his observation is based on instinct and lacks substantial evidence.
The US President further stated that he has been engaged in dialogue with leaders from the region, including Jordan's King Abdullah, Egypt's President Sisi, the Palestinian Authority's President Abbas, and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince. Biden emphasized the importance of fostering hope in the region and working towards greater integration for Israel, while simultaneously addressing the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
As Israel launches a major counter-offensive against Hamas in response to the devastating attacks that claimed the lives of over 1,400 people, the relevance of Biden's remark regarding the motive behind the violence raises questions. While his intuition points towards the IMEEC announcement as a triggering factor, the absence of concrete evidence calls for a comprehensive investigation into the root causes behind the attack.