In a clear attempt to walk the tightrope between supporting Israel as well as civilians in Palestine, Mr Biden announced that he had met with the Israeli Cabinet and asked them to allow humanitarian aid to pass from Egypt to Gaza and the West Bank.
As part of the agreement to allow for aid, there will be inspections and clear delivery to civilians only not Hamas.
“Let me be clear, if Hamas diverts or steals the assistance, they will have demonstrated once again that they have no concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people,” Mr Biden said in Tel Aviv.
Mr Biden said the US “unequivocally stands for the protection of civilian life during conflict” and reiterated the dire need for food, water, medicine and shelter in Gaza.
After Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, Israel cut off the flow of food, water and fuel to Gaza and requested civilians evacuate as soon as possible – sparking controversy among those trying to mediate between the two countries.
Tuesday’s deadly airstrike on a hospital in Gaza City only exasperated the problem.
Now, over a million civilians affected by the war will receive access to “clean water, food, hygiene support, medical care and other essential needs,” according to the White House. However, it is unclear when the aid will begin flowing.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the decision to allow for aid was approved “in light of Biden’s demands” after he met with Mr Netanyahu and survivors of the attack.
In a speech on Wednesday, Mr Biden stressed the importance of seeing Palestinian civilians as victims of Hamas’ attacks as well.
“Hamas uses innocents, innocent families in Gaza as human shields, putting their command centers, their weapons and their communications tunnels in residential areas. The Palestinian people are suffering greatly as well,” he said.
The White House echoed Mr Biden’s sentiments in an official statement saying “Civilians are not to blame and should not suffer for Hamas’s horrific terrorism. Civilian lives must be protected and assistance must urgently reach those in need.”
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