US President Joe Biden has secured a deal with Egypt to deliver limited aid to Gaza to ease a humanitarian crisis amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Visiting Tel Aviv, Mr Biden said Israel had a right to hit back for the Hamas attack that triggered the fighting.

The US president said Israel had been "badly victimised", though he cautioned against being "consumed" by rage.

He also backed Israel's account that a blast at a Gaza hospital on Tuesday was not caused by an Israeli air strike.

Palestinian officials say the explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Arab Hospital killed 471 people, blaming it on Israel. The incident has further inflamed tensions across the region.

But during a trip to Tel Aviv lasting fewer than eight hours on Wednesday, Mr Biden supported the Israeli claim that the deadly blast appeared to have been caused by a misfiring Palestinian rocket.

The American president said he was "deeply saddened and outraged" by the explosion.

Israel has pointed the finger at Islamic Jihad, another militant group operating in Gaza. Islamic Jihad denied any role in the blast.

The Palestinian-reported death toll has also been disputed by Israel. A foreign ministry spokesman, Lior Haiat, said on social media platform X that "several dozen people" had been "apparently killed".

While flying home, Mr Biden discussed aid for Gaza with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi by phone.

Mr Biden told journalists that Mr Sisi had agreed to open the Rafah crossing from Egypt to Gaza to allow about 20 lorries carrying humanitarian aid into the territory.

Egypt confirmed its president and Mr Biden had agreed to provide aid to Gaza "in a sustainable manner".

Mr Biden did not give a timeline for the border crossing opening, but White House spokesman John Kirby said it would occur in the coming days after road repairs.

Mr Biden also said $100m (£82m) in US funding would be be allocated to support Palestinian civilians.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency the US president was considering asking Congress for $10bn in aid for Israel as soon as Friday.

People are desperately short of food, water, fuel, medicine and other essentials after Israel launched a blockade of the enclave 10 days ago.

Israel struck back after the Palestinian militant group Hamas killed 1,400 people in an unprecedented incursion from Gaza on 7 October.

At least 3,000 people have been killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes on Gaza, according to Palestinian health officials. More than a million Palestinians have fled their homes within Gaza - about half of the population.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Israel would not prevent supplies going from Egypt to the civilian population in southern Gaza.

However, Israel said it would not allow any aid to pass through its own territory until hostages being held by Hamas were released. Nearly 200 people have been abducted, Israel says.

Mr Biden will give a televised address to the nation from the White House on Thursday at 20:00 EDT (midnight GMT).

In his address, Mr Biden will "discuss our response to Hamas's terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia's ongoing brutal war against Ukraine", White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Also on Thursday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is due to visit Israel.

On the US president's high-stakes visit to Tel Aviv, he was warmly greeted by Mr Netanyahu, before the pair hosted a joint news conference.

Mr Biden likened the Hamas raid on Israel to the 9/11 attacks in the US.

"The scale may be different, but I'm sure those horrors have tapped into some kind of primal feeling in Israel, just like it did and felt in the United States," Mr Biden said. "But I caution this: while you feel that rage, don't be consumed by it.

"After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes."

Addressing the explosion at the hospital, Mr Biden told Mr Netanyahu: "Based on what I've seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you."

Mr Biden was later asked by reporters what led him to conclude that Israel was not responsible, and said: "The data I was shown by my defence department."

A senior American official has told CBS, the BBC's US partner, that Washington has its own intelligence - in addition to Israel's - that includes communications intercepts and satellite photos, which give it "high confidence" Israel was not behind the strike.

The official said there were "indications" that it was an errant rocket fired by a group in Gaza.

Mr Biden had planned to travel from Israel to Jordan to meet King Abdullah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egypt's President Sisi, but that leg of the trip was called off after the hospital blast.

Jordan cancelled the meeting and condemned what it called "a great calamity and a heinous war crime".

The White House said the decision to call off that part of the visit had been "made in a mutual way".



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