Israel said it won’t prevent humanitarian aid going into Gaza from Egypt as long as there are measures in place to prevent it being transferred to Hamas.
(Bloomberg) — Israel said it won’t prevent humanitarian aid going into Gaza from Egypt as long as there are measures in place to prevent it being transferred to Hamas.
The decision by Israel’s “war cabinet” came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Joe Biden. The US president traveled to Tel Aviv on Wednesday to support the Israeli government as the war against the Hamas militant group escalates and to try to ensure aid gets to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
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“In light of President Biden’s request, Israel will not prevent humanitarian assistance from Egypt as long as it is only food, water and medicine for the civilian population located in the southern Gaza Strip or which is evacuating to there, and as long as these supplies do not reach Hamas,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. “Any supplies that reach Hamas will be prevented.”
The Israeli military has carried out mass airstrikes on Gaza, which Hamas rules, since the Iran-backed group attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7. More than 1,400 Israelis were killed and around 200 kidnapped, while thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have died from the subsequent strikes.
Israel is concentrating the bulk of its military activities around Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip. It’s urged Palestinians to evacuate to the south of the enclave.
The Jewish state reiterated that it will not allow aid into Gaza or revive power supplies from its own territory “as long as our abductees are not returned.”
The war cabinet, created last week, comprises Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, a former head of the Israeli military who now heads an opposition party.
“Israel demands the Red Cross visits to our abductees and is working to mobilize extensive international support for this demand,” the statement said.
A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to say how Israel would stop Hamas accessing any aid from Egypt, beyond that there was have to be “safeguards.” Hamas is designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union.
Gaza is a small territory bordered by Israel and, to its south, Egypt. The Egyptians and Israelis have blamed each other and Hamas for keeping the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza closed.
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Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has also said his country won’t house any Palestinians allowed out of Gaza. Israel should take on any people that are displaced from the territory, he said.
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