Efforts to ease Gaza humanitarian crisis prompt Biden’s visit to Israel

8 min read

In Israel, Biden seeks to ease Gaza humanitarian crisis. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US President Joe Biden will visit Tel Aviv on Wednesday to show solidarity with the people of Israel.

He also highlighted the progress made in persuading the US ally to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Over nine hours were spent at the defense ministry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has pledged to destroy Hamas.

Air sirens sounded as the conflict intruded on the talks. Before the US-backed Iron Dome system destroyed the incoming rocket, Netanyahu and his aides took shelter in a bunker for five minutes.

In a statement released at 3:00am Tuesday (0000 GMT), Blinken announced that Biden would visit Israel on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, on October 17, 2023, after an overnight meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As part of the president’s speech, Blinken said the United States will reaffirm its solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security. According to Blinken, Israel has the right and duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists.

The vice president will get a first-hand account of Israel’s military needs and work with Congress to meet them, Blinken said.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Biden would travel on to Jordan to meet King Abdullah II, a key US ally, as well as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Blinken met all three leaders during a three-day trip through the Arab world between two visits to Israel.

Yoav Gallant thanked the United States on Monday for its support, which has included a visit by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the deployment of two US aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean.

The war will be long, the price will be high, but we will win – for Israel, for the Jewish people, and for the values shared by both countries,” Gallant told Blinken.

Aid plan for Gaza civilians being developed

After Hamas fighters broke through the heavily fortified border and killed more than 1,400 civilians, Israel declared war on Hamas.

In the impoverished Gaza Strip, which Israel has long blockedaded, more than 2,700 Palestinians have been martyred, mostly civilians and children.

Both Blinken and Biden have pledged unwavering support for Israel and resisted calls for a ceasefire. Although Blinken’s aides acknowledged that he also heard widespread Arab concern about the people of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Blinken said Israel had promised to work with the United States to allow foreign aid in.

Foreign assistance will be developed “under the terms of a plan,” he said. Details are expected to be finalized by David Satterfield, a veteran former US ambassador who started a new job Monday coordinating humanitarian aid.

According to Blinken, Biden wants to hear from Israel “how it will operate in a manner that minimizes civilian casualties and allows humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza without benefiting Hamas.”

According to him, the two sides discussed “the possibility of creating areas to protect civilians.”

Despite US efforts, the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt remains closed, with drivers fearing that Israel will strike them because they are suspected of helping Hamas, which receives weapons smuggled from Iran.

Blinken said the US shared Israel’s concerns about Hamas and would take action if it stopped or diverted aid to the group.

After earlier vows by Israeli leaders to cut off all water, food, and energy following the attacks, the Biden administration persuaded Israel to restore water partially.

Displacement of millions of Israelis

In the 10 days since Hamas launched the bloodiest attack in Israeli history, around 500,000 people have been evacuated or displaced.

Jonathan Conricus, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said in an online briefing that there were about half a million internally displaced Israelis.

According to AFP, all communities around the Gaza Strip had been evacuated, as had more than 20 communities along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

More than 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed in the brutal surprise attack by Hamas fighters on October 7.

This was the worst attack in the country’s 75-year history. There have been over 2,700 Palestinian civilians martyred by Israel’s retaliatory air strikes in the Gaza Strip, most of them children.

As Israel prepares for a full-blown ground offensive against Hamas, more than one million Palestinians have been forced from their homes.

As tensions with Hezbollah rise, Israel’s army is also evacuating residents along its northern border with Lebanon.

Israel’s army carried out retaliatory strikes and attacked the group’s infrastructure after a missile attack from Lebanon killed an Israeli civilian and an army officer.

There are thousands of people living in 28 communities affected by the move.

In recent days, repeated cross-border fire has claimed lives on both sides of the UN-patrolled border between Lebanon and Israel, which remain technically at war.

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours