Israel said it will not prevent aid from entering Gaza via Egypt in the wake of the days-long stifling blockade on the Palestinian territories that has cut off vital supplies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the decision was made in light of a request from President Biden, who visited Israel on Wednesday.
Netanyahu’s office said Egyptian aid should be limited to food, water and medicine for civilians in southern Gaza and would be allowed as long as supplies did not reach Hamas, which rules Gaza. Israel said it would not allow aid to enter Gaza through its borders as long as Hamas remained steadfast.
It is unclear when much-needed aid will enter the Strip through the Rafah crossing, the only official corridor between Egypt and Gaza. Mr. Biden said inThe United States is working in close cooperation with regional partners to move the trucks “as quickly as possible.”
These announcements came a day after AOfficials in the Hamas-controlled area said it killed at least 500 people. Mr. Biden did He claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying that US military data led him to conclude that a Palestinian missile, not an Israeli air strike, caused the explosion.
The explosion in Gaza City — which Palestinian leaders and neighboring Arab states quickly blamed on Israel — has complicated what was already a difficult diplomatic mission for Mr. Biden amid rising tensions in the region and fears that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could spread.
Gaza officials say Israeli bombing of the Palestinian enclave since Hamas attacked Israeli civilians and soldiers on October 7 has killed nearly 3,500 people and injured more than 12,000 others, the majority of them women and children.
In Israel, officials say the Hamas attack killed about 1,400 people and injured 3,500 others. Hamas is said to be holding about 200 people13 American citizens are still missing.
In Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Biden expressed regret for Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, and pledged that the world would “never again stand by and do nothing,” as he said it did when Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.
He also said that there was “no higher priority” for him than securing the release of hostages held by Hamas.
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