Biden To Netanyahu: Quit Killing People Now, And Allow Food And Medical Supplies Into Gaza.

File photo. Joe Biden in Israel in 2016, visiting a girl's soccer team.
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U.S. President Joe Biden said in an interview aired on Spanish language network Univision last night that he disagrees with  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to Israel’s war against the Hamas militant group, and that Israel should call for a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid and food deliveries.

The Spanish-language network Univision interviewed Biden on April 3, two days after an Israeli attack killed seven staff members from the aid group World Central Kitchen in Gaza.

Biden said there is no excuse for not providing food and medical aid to the people of Gaza, and that those efforts “should be done now.”

“What I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” Biden said. “I’ve spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They’re prepared to move in. They’re prepared to move this food in.”

The White House said last week that Biden made similar points when he spoke with Netanyahu in a phone call, emphasizing that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is “unacceptable.”

The United States is also pressing Hamas to accept a cease-fire deal with Israel that would halt fighting in Gaza for six weeks. The proposal would also release some of the 100 or so hostages held by the U.S.-designated terror group in exchange for Israel freeing hundreds of Palestinians it has jailed.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Tuesday in Washington that it was a “very serious” proposal presented to Hamas in Cairo and “should be accepted.”

“The ball is in Hamas’ court,” Blinken said. “The world is watching to see what it does.”

The fact that Hamas has not yet agreed to the terms, Blinken added, “says what it thinks of the people of Gaza, which is not much.”

Hamas said Tuesday that the proposal didn’t meet its demands, but it would consider it.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that his country will not block arms sales by British companies to Israel.

“The latest assessment leaves our position on export licenses unchanged,” Cameron said in Washington.

“Let me be clear, though,” he added, “we continue to have grave concerns around the humanitarian access issue in Gaza.”

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. Israel’s subsequent counteroffensive in Gaza has killed more than 33,000 people, about two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

Blinken said the war could have ended months ago if Hamas “had put down its guns, stopped hiding behind civilians and surrendered.”

The top U.S. diplomat said Biden has “been very clear about our concerns, our deep concerns about Israel’s ability to move civilians out of out of harm’s way to care for them” in the event of an Israeli attack on the southern city of Rafah.

Blinken said he does not see anything imminent happening in Rafah and that he does not believe anything will occur before U.S. and Israeli officials meet next week.

The U.S. opposes the planned Rafah attack, with White House officials saying the Israelis have not shared an attack date with Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday an undisclosed date has been set for Israel’s military to invade Rafah on the Gaza-Egyptian border, a region where more than a million Palestinians are sheltering to try to remain safe. Netanyahu says an Israeli offensive is necessary to win its war against Hamas.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a Senate hearing Tuesday that a deadly famine in Gaza would likely accelerate violence and ensure a long-term conflict. The U.S. has continually pressed Israel to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza to feed famished Palestinians.

“If Israel wants to create lasting effects, then it must address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people. … And not in a marginal way,” Austin said.

Some international critics have contended that Israel is committing genocide with indiscriminate attacks on Palestinians in Gaza, taking little care for their safety as it hunts down Hamas militants.

But Austin dismissed the contention, saying, “We don’t have evidence of that.”

Source: VOA
Source: VOA.
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