Although Blinken praised Israel for its announcement of daily humanitarian pauses and two humanitarian corridors, he said “there is more that can and should be done to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.”
“Too many Palestinians have been killed. Too many have suffered in recent weeks,” Blinken told a news conference in the Indian capital, Delhi. “We want to do everything we can to prevent damage and maximize the help that gets to them,” he added.
“To that end, we will continue to discuss with Israel the concrete steps that need to be taken to achieve these goals,” Blinken added. However, he refused to elaborate on the details of these steps.
- There will be no truce. Despite the US plan, Netanyahu refuses to negotiate with Hamas
Although the United States supports Israel, it increasingly opposes the attacks taking place in Gaza. But Blinken said after a meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials that “some progress has been made.”
On Wednesday in Tokyo, he described the US conditions for a “permanent and sustainable peace” in Gaza. “No forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza. No use of Gaza as a platform to launch terrorism or other attacks against Israel. No reduction of territory in Gaza and preservation of the Palestinian Authority’s territorial competence for Gaza and the West Bank,” Blinken said on Friday.
President Joe Biden believes there should be a humanitarian pause in the conflict between Israel and the Hamas movement to get prisoners out of the Gaza Strip. At the same time, the United States rejected the increasing calls for a cease-fire just a few days ago.
- A humanitarian convoy with medical supplies came under attack in Gaza
“I believe we need a break,” Biden said at a campaign event in Minneapolis. He was responding to the demand for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. “The break is to give time to get the prisoners out,” he added.
Biden also praised the efforts of some countries in the Middle East region for helping to transport wounded Palestinians and foreigners from the Gaza Strip. Among these persons are also US citizens.
“I want to thank our partners, especially Qatar, who have worked closely with us to support negotiations to facilitate the departure of these citizens,” he said. However, according to him, more efforts need to be made in order to significantly increase the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
At the same time, the United States a few weeks ago rejected the increasing calls for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This was said on Monday by the US President’s national security spokesman, John Kirby.
- We will destroy Israel, the October attack was only the beginning, we can repeat it four times, Hamas chief declared
“We don’t think a ceasefire is the right answer right now. We don’t support it right now,” Kirby said. Instead, he said, “pauses” should be considered during which aid would be delivered to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
According to Kirby, the US is confident that in the coming days the number of humanitarian aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip from Egypt through the Rafah crossing will increase to around a hundred per day.
“In this first phase, which we talked about with the Israelis, we’re going to try to get to a hundred (vehicles) a day,” Kirby said. “We are confident that we will get there in the next few days,” he added.
According to the United Nations, one hundred trucks a day is the minimum necessary to cover the most basic needs of the population there. Currently, dozens of trucks are heading to Gaza every week, which is a fraction of the previous deliveries of humanitarian aid.
- Israel killed one of the commanders of Hamas. We will fight until victory, despite painful losses, Netanyahu said
The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) says that the limited number of humanitarian convoys entering the Gaza Strip is not enough to meet the “unprecedented humanitarian needs” of civilians there.
“The handful of convoys that pass through Rafah are nothing compared to the needs of the more than two million people trapped in Gaza,” Lazzarini told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
“The current aid delivery system to Gaza will fail until the political will is found to set it up to be meaningful and respond to unprecedented humanitarian needs,” he added. According to UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, only 33 trucks carrying water, food and medical supplies entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
At the same time, Lazzarini pointed out that 64 UNRWA workers have already died in more than three weeks of war between Israel and Hamas. “It is the highest number of UN aid workers killed in such a short time in the conflict,” he said. “Colleagues from UNRWA are the only glimmer of hope for the entire Gaza Strip. However, they are running out of fuel, water, food, medicine and will soon be unable to function any further,” he warns.
- According to Hamas, Israel is bombing hospitals. They are surrounded by tanks and ambulances cannot pass, MSF claims
According to the Ministry of Health, at least 10,000 people were killed during the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, and another 32,000 people were injured. Israel records at least 1,400 dead and more than 3,000 wounded after the Hamas attack on October 7. The Israel Defense Forces also said Hamas was holding more than 230 hostages.
According to available and unverified data, the number of dead on both sides of the conflict reaches at least 11,000, and at least 35,000 people are injured. The United Nations says more than 600,000 Gazans have been displaced since Israel began bombing.
The radical Palestinian movement Hamas fired more than 2,500 rockets against Israel in the early morning of Saturday, October 7, 2023, and Palestinian militants penetrated several Israeli towns near the Gaza border. Rocket impacts were reported from both Tel Aviv and other cities.
Eyewitnesses reported shooting in the streets and Israel spoke of a massacre in which Hamas beheaded children and executed civilians. It is not yet known how the attackers from the Gaza Strip managed to cross the heavily guarded border. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said Hamas entered Israel by land, sea and air, which it subsequently carried out. A number of intelligence and military officials claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Guterres again criticizes Israel: Death toll, including thousands of children, suggests something is wrong
The leader of the Islamist movement Hamas confirmed that the armed group launched a military operation against Israel in October. Muhammad Daif said that this is the beginning of the “Al-Aqsa Storm” operation. Palestinian militants also managed to penetrate into the city of Sderot, where there were clashes with Israeli forces.
In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned top security officials, formed an emergency government, and the state officially declared war on Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces launched Operation “Iron Swords” and the Israeli Air Force launched a counterattack on Hamas positions in response to the attack.
In the course of the following days, rocket attacks on Israel continued, as well as retaliation by the Israeli air force in the form of bombing hundreds of targets in Gaza. While Western countries mostly express support for Israel, Gaza is supported by, for example, Iran or Saudi Arabia. Non-governmental organizations and the UN are mainly asking for the situation to calm down due to the ever-increasing number of dead civilians. However, there are diplomatic rifts.
Later, the Israeli army regained control of all the towns around the Gaza border and secured the border. The Minister of Defense subsequently ordered a total blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel will now attempt to free the captured hostages and has launched a ground invasion of Gaza.
States and organizations are also calling for the creation of a humanitarian corridor, as most of the two million residents of the Gaza Strip are dependent on outside aid. Although humanitarian convoys are heading to the area, hospitals in Gaza are still overloaded and struggling with a lack of electricity, and people are running out of food and water.