For a hot minute, I thought we were about to have another Benghazi on our hands.
Just prior to Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, our embassy in Beirut was swarmed by a large crowd of protesters, some waving Palestinian flags.
This was done in response to the initially mistaken reporting that Israel had bombed a hospital in Gaza.
When the Gaza hospital was hit, many media outlets jumped to the conclusion that the rocket was a strike from Israel.
That report was quickly debunked, but the damage had been done.
A large crowd of Lebanese protesters swarmed the embassy in Beirut, and police had to start using tear gas to disperse the crowd before we had another Benghazi on our hands.
Protesters also stormed the French Embassy.
Hamas, of course, blamed Israel for the strike, which reportedly killed about 500 people, making it the deadliest attack since the opening salvos or rockets from Hamas and the counterattack by Israel.
Footage of the blast quickly debunked the Hamas claim, however, as it was clear the rocket originated in Palestine and fell well short of its target. There was even audio of Hamas fighters discussing the misfire, including saying that of all the places to hit, it had to land on a hospital.
The falsely reported rocket also resulted in Biden’s planned trip to Tel Aviv to talk to King Abdullah II of Jordan being canceled.
The White House stated, “After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President [Abdel Fattah el-] Sisi of Egypt.
“The president sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days.”
We are now waiting to see what Iran and Hezbollah (Lebanon) will do, as both have threatened to declare war on Israel.
While Hezbollah has not officially declared war, it has launched several attacks against Israel since the initial attack by Hamas on October 7.