President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Israel has agreed to let humanitarian aid go into Gaza from Egypt. They will inspect the shipments to ensure they go to civilians, not Hamas militants.
What did Biden say?
“I understand. Many Americans understand,” Biden said, likening Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people.
“You can’t look at what has happened here and not scream out for justice. While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it.”
Following an attack by Hamas that resulted in nearly 1,400 casualties in Israel, Israel ceased the flow of food, fuel, and water to the Gaza Strip.
This situation led to a deadlock in efforts by mediators to provide supplies to civilians, aid groups, and hospitals.
An explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip made the suffering even worse.
Israel confirmed that food, water, and medicine would be sent to Gaza via Egypt, but the exact starting time remained uncertain.
The cause of the hospital explosion was the subject of conflicting claims. Officials in Gaza immediately attributed it to an Israeli airstrike, but Israel refuted this claim.
Israel presented a range of evidence, including videos and audio recordings, to support its assertion that the blast resulted from a missile misfire by Islamic Jihad, a different militant group in Gaza. Islamic Jihad, however, rejected this explanation.
On Wednesday, President Biden stated that data from the Defense Department indicated that an Israeli military strike was unlikely.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council later posted on social media that their analysis of images intercepted communications, and publicly available information also pointed to Israel not being responsible for the attack. Nevertheless, the U.S. is still gathering evidence.
“Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting. But he said “a lot of people out there” weren’t sure what caused the blast, which sparked protests throughout the Middle East.
Biden said he had spoken with the Israeli cabinet “to agree to the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance of civilians in Gaza, based on the understanding that there will be inspections and the aid will go to civilians and not to Hamas.”
“Let me be clear,” Biden said. If Hamas diverts or steals the assistance, they will have demonstrated once again that they have no concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people.”
Biden further revealed an extra $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and the West Bank.
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