President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a phone call on Sunday to reaffirm their commitment to providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza. This announcement comes as a positive development following the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The leaders welcomed the delivery of the first two humanitarian convoys to Gaza since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack, which resulted in significant loss of life and the abduction of scores of people. These convoys carried essential food and medical supplies into the region and are intended for distribution among the Palestinians in dire need. The leaders have also vowed to ensure a continuous flow of critical assistance into Gaza.
The first two convoys successfully reached their intended destinations over the weekend, thanks to the reopening of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on Saturday. U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues, David Satterfield, confirmed the delivery of 15 more trucks of aid on Sunday evening.
The ongoing blockade of Gaza, a measure undertaken by Israel to prevent the flow of supplies into the hands of Hamas militants, had pushed the region’s 2.3 million residents to the brink of starvation, according to Cindy McCain, the Executive Director of the U.N.’s World Food Program.
During their Sunday call, President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu also discussed their joint efforts to secure the release of all remaining hostages, including U.S. citizens, who were taken by Hamas. They further emphasized the need for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians who wish to leave Gaza.
In a joint statement released on the same day, leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom expressed their commitment to working together with regional partners to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza and secure the release of the hostages. Their focus also lies on facilitating the exit of their respective citizens from Gaza.
These world leaders reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against acts of terrorism while calling for the adherence to international humanitarian laws, particularly concerning the protection of civilians.
In conclusion, the leaders emphasized the importance of continued diplomatic coordination to prevent the conflict from spreading, maintain stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution for a lasting and durable peace in the region.