On Sunday, President Biden held a discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the search and rescue efforts for over 220 Israeli hostages, including missing American citizens believed to be in the custody of Hamas. The White House’s conversation summary highlighted the urgent need to boost humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilian population.
Israel is currently launching a ground offensive into Gaza, aiming to oust Hamas from the region and recover the hostages abducted on October 7. Amidst the escalating conflict and the continued airstrikes on Gaza by Israel, there’s a growing global demand to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian support to the affected civilians.
President Biden reinforced his stance to Prime Minister Netanyahu, asserting Israel’s undeniable right to shield its residents from acts of terror. However, he emphasized the importance of abiding by international humanitarian laws and prioritizing civilian safety.
As per the official summary, both leaders have committed to maintaining open communication channels, both personally and through their national security personnel.
Following extensive diplomatic efforts by the Biden administration, Israel has consented to the daily entry of 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza, a US official disclosed to The Times of Israel. This decision was reached shortly after the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) expressed concerns that the amount of aid being allowed into Gaza was inadequate to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in the region.
Since the opening of Egypt’s Rafah crossing ten days earlier, after its bombing by Israel in the initial days of the conflict that commenced with Hamas’s unexpected attacks on October 7, only 171 aid trucks have gained entry to Gaza. Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, COGAT, stated that this assistance totaled hundreds of tons and comprised essential items such as water, food, and medical resources.
Furthermore, COGAT reported that on Monday, 39 trucks bearing humanitarian relief accessed Gaza, which is six trucks less than the count given by the US for the preceding day. US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller emphasized the objective to steadily boost this number.