Joe Biden gets Israel to let humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip

On Wednesday October 18, Joe Biden exonerated Israel after the deadly explosion at Al-Ahli hospital in downtown Gaza

Joe Biden gets Israel to let humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip

On Wednesday October 18, Joe Biden exonerated Israel after the deadly explosion at Al-Ahli hospital in downtown Gaza. Visiting the Jewish state, the American president also obtained from his ally that humanitarian aid could soon enter the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Biden came in person to Israel to support the country, hit by the bloody attack launched on October 7 by Palestinian Hamas. Regarding the Al-Ahli hospital, the American president confirmed the version given by the Israeli army, which accuses Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian organization, of being at the origin of the shooting.

“Based on the information we have had so far, it appears that [the explosion] was the result of an out-of-control rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza,” said Joe Biden, who claims to have evidence from the Pentagon.

Hamas, the Islamist movement in power in Gaza, accused Israel, as did Iran and many Arab countries, where thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to denounce “Zionist crimes”.

Speaking to the press, the American president also affirmed that Israel had given the green light for the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, thus responding to the request of the American authorities and the international community.

“Israel will not prevent humanitarian aid from Egypt as long as it involves food, water and medicine for the civilian population in the south of the Gaza Strip,” a statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

No delivery of humanitarian aid before Friday

Israel, however, set a condition: this aid will not pass through its territory until the hostages held by Palestinian Hamas are released. The Palestinian movement says it is holding between 200 and 250 hostages, at least 199, according to Israel. Their release is an “absolute priority,” said the American president.

After a telephone interview with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, Joe Biden announced that Egypt had agreed to “let up to 20 trucks cross” the border to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. But this aid will probably not arrive before Friday due to work to be done on the road, destroyed by Israeli bombing.

Dozens of trucks full of international aid have been waiting in Egypt for days to enter the Gaza Strip at the Rafah crossing point, the only one not controlled by Israel, but which was still closed Wednesday evening.

If the American president said he wanted to “get as many trucks through as possible”, he also warned: “If Hamas [seizes them] or does not let them pass (…), then it will be over. »

Washington would also like Cairo to agree to open its border in the other direction in order to let Palestinian civilians out, particularly those carrying American passports. “We’re going to get people out,” Joe Biden said, without giving further details.

Since the Hamas attack that killed 1,400 people in Israel, the IDF has relentlessly bombarded the small, overpopulated territory of the Gaza Strip, where at least 3,478 people have been killed, the majority Palestinian civilians, according to local authorities. which do not specify whether this assessment also takes into account that of the victims of Al-Ahli hospital.

Rishi Sunak expected in turn in Israel

If Joe Biden assured that he would work with Israel to avoid “further tragedy” for civilians, the United States vetoed on Wednesday a Security Council resolution which called for a “humanitarian pause”. Washington lambasted a text which did not mention “Israel’s right to defend itself”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will in turn travel to Israel and several other Middle Eastern capitals on Thursday to insist on the release of humanitarian aid and to call for avoiding an escalation of the war.

Water and food are lacking for the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, also deprived of electricity, after the siege imposed by Israel since October 9 on the small territory of 362 km2, already poor and cramped. subjected to a land, sea and air blockade since Hamas took power there in 2007. According to the World Health Organization, the situation in the Gaza Strip is now “out of control.”