Biden returns from Middle East trip without incident, no air raid sirens during visit

President Biden landed safely in Washington early Thursday after visiting Israel to show solidarity with the Middle East ally that was raided by Hamas and has turned into a war zone.

The high-stakes visit had made lawmakers and others skittish about the president’s safety. Given the situation, the White House told reporters traveling with Mr. Biden what to do in case air sirens sounded in Tel Aviv.

The staff went through several scenarios, but the actions weren’t necessary because no sirens went off during the president’s time on the ground in Israel. Air raid sirens had sounded during visits from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, forcing them to scramble into bunkers.

Mr. Biden visited Israel to show support for its military response to terror attacks by Palestinian militants in Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,000 people, including 30 Americans, and resulted in scores being taken hostage.

There is mounting fear about the violence in Hamas-controlled Gaza, where the death toll is rising due to the war.

“While you feel rage, don’t be consumed by it. After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. While we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes,” Mr. Biden said, offering a word of caution with his support for Israel’s operation.

The Biden administration is considering a $100 billion aid package that includes money for Ukraine and the war in Israel along with domestic issues such as border protection.

No details have been finalized yet, but it’s expected that a large sum of the money will go toward Ukraine aid. News reports said the package could be sent to Congress by Friday.

Mr. Biden’s visit to Israel was reminiscent of his surprise visit to Kyiv via train from Poland in February.

Mr. Biden expressed solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his fight against Russian invaders. He says the U.S. can support both Ukraine and Israel with military aid and other funding, though some in Congress are leery of doling out more cash abroad.

• Jeff Mordock and Mallory Wilson contributed to this report.

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