Israel steps up humanitarian aid for Gaza following Netanyahu’s phone call with Biden

Israel will allow aid to be brought into Gaza through the Ashdod Port, the Erez Crossing and the Kerem Shalom Crossing. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Following a phone conversation between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s security cabinet announced new entries would be opened to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israel will allow aid to be delivered through the Ashdod Port as well as the Erez Crossing, which is being opened for the first time since Hamas invaded Israel on October 7th.

In addition, aid from Jordan will be transported through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

This move followed a 45-minute phone call from the US President who was “outraged” by the IDF’s accidental killing of 7 World Kitchen aid workers.

According to a White House Statement, Biden addressed the “need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.”

The statement continued “He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

US National Security spokesman John Kirby said,  “We expect to see a dramatic increase in the arrival of humanitarian aid, the opening of more crossings, a reduction in violence against civilians and aid workers.”

Kirby added, “We want to see that the Israelis are ready to take practical steps immediately … This is not just an announcement of steps and policy changes, but implementation.”

“We will closely examine and monitor how they carry out their commitments. If there is no change in their policy then there will be a change on our part,” Kirby concluded.

Following the announcement of the opening of new routes for the transfer of humanitarian aid, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, “The increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is critical for ensuring the continuation of the fighting and achieving the war aims.”

Biden also urged Netanyahu to agree to a deal for the return of hostages, even though it was Hamas who rejected an agreement for a 6-week ceasefire and instead demanded a permanent ceasefire.

According to the White House Statement, Biden “underscored that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the prime minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home.”

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