President Biden’s trip to Israel on Wednesday will put him in a region where grief and fury are mounting, not only toward Israel, but also toward the United States, the world power that has declared unyielding support for its chief Middle East ally.
On Tuesday, widespread condemnation of Israel rippled across the region after a huge explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip killed hundreds of Palestinians who had been seeking treatment and refuge. Israel has denied being behind the blast, blaming another Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad, for a failed rocket launch.
But even before that, many people across the region had come to view Israel’s war with Hamas — the Palestinian armed group that carried out a shocking attack on southern Israel last week, slaughtering 1,400 people — as an American-backed massacre of Palestinian civilians in the blockaded territory of Gaza.
Israel has cut off water, medicine and electricity in the enclave, and continued to target Gaza with deadly airstrikes, bringing the death toll to at least 2,800 before the hospital explosion.
Many Arabs view the American government as being not only indifferent to the agony of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, but also complicit in it. American pledges of “ironclad” support for the country — and no-strings-attached security assistance — have stoked those feelings as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza.
“There is tremendous anger in the Arab world, even by those who do not support Hamas,” said Nabil Fahmy, a former foreign minister of Egypt. “They are giving Israel a green light,” he said of Western powers, “and as this gets increasingly bloody, the West will have blood on its hands.”
So intense is the anger that a refrain, “Death to America,” has found renewed resonance in the region, including during a protest on Friday in Bahrain, a close American ally.
Many Palestinians and other Arabs said in interviews that the rhetoric coming from senior Israeli and American officials has been dehumanizing and warmongering.
When the war began, Mr. Biden called the attacks by Hamas — in which gunmen killed Israeli soldiers and civilians and took nearly 200 people hostage — “pure, unadulterated evil.”
The Israeli defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said: “We are fighting human animals. There will be no Hamas; we will eliminate everything.”
As he traveled around the region over the past week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken