US President Joe Biden has indicated that one of the motives behind Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7 was the recent announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which aims to connect the entire region through an extensive network of railways, roads, and ports, media reports said.
"I'm convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did, and I have no proof of this, just my instinct tells me, is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel, and regional integration overall. We can't leave that work behind," Biden was quoted as saying in the ANI news agency.
The US president made the remarks during a joint press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese on Wednesday.
This project was officially launched with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India.
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor is designed to stimulate economic growth by bolstering connectivity and economic integration between Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
It comprises two distinct segments: the East corridor linking India to West Asia/Middle East, and the Northern corridor linking West Asia/Middle East to Europe.
This comprehensive plan includes the establishment of a rail line that, once completed, will offer a dependable and cost-efficient cross-border ship-to-rail transit system, complementing existing multi-modal transport routes and enhancing the movement of goods and services from Southeast Asia, through India, to West Asia/Middle East and Europe.
Biden has recently praised this corridor, emphasizing that it will create investment opportunities spanning across two continents.
He stated that this rail-port project is part of an endeavour to construct a more sustainable and interconnected Middle East.
The Israel-Hamas war, which was triggered by a surprise attack by Hams on Israel on October 7, has entered its 20th day.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his goal against the Hamas war is "saving the nation" and promised that a ground incursion to destroy Hamas in Gaza will start soon, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
"We are preparing for a ground incursion. I won't specify when, how, how many. I also won't detail the range of considerations, most of which the public is not aware of. And that's the way it is supposed to be. This is the way so that we protect our soldiers' lives."
In an address to the nation, PM Netanyahu said, "Israel is in the midst of a fight for our existence. The war's two aims are "to eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governance capabilities, and to do everything possible to get our hostages back."