Blinken Hell! US Secretary Of State Tries For Deal On Hostages Situation In Gaza, As Biden Calls Hamas Barbarians.

Photo: Atlantic Council.org. Blinken and Netanyahu. What is going on in discussions behind the scenes?
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has returned to Israel – after President Joe Biden simultaneousuly called on Israel to exercise caution and called out Hamas as ‘barbarians’ who need to be eliminated.

It’s expected that Blinken will echo sentiment from President Biden, who told American news channel CBS yesterday that the US would provide Israel with whatever it needs, and said he believed Hamas needed to be eliminated.

“Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust. And – so I think Israel has to respond.

“They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They’re hiding behind the civilians.”

When questioned over the ongoing siege of Gaza, where water, fuel and power have been cut off, Biden said he believed a humanitarian corridorshould be established.

He urged Israel to exercise caution as its ground forces prepare for an offensive in the territory, saying it would be “a big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.

Biden is weighing up an invite from Israel to visit the country, and may fly there in the coming days.

Israel’s military has updated the number of people it believes are being held hostage in Gaza,. The latest number is 199, including a number of foreigners or dual citzens of other countries.

They were kidnapped when Hamas gunmen infiltrated Israel just over a week ago, killing more than 1,400 people.

More than 2,700 people in Gaza have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel, which is also blocking fuel, water, food and medical supplies from entering the territory.

The UN says it is “deep in negotiations” to get the first aid into Gaza.

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas have denied earlier reports of a truce to allow some people out and aid in via the Rafah crossing.

Thousands of people have been gathering close to the crossing with Egypt in the hope of leaving Gaza ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has returned to Israel – on Sunday President Joe Biden called on Israel to exercise caution.

It’s expected he’ll be echoing sentiment from President Biden, who told American news channel CBS yesterday that the US would provide Israel with whatever it needs, and said he believed Hamas needed to be eliminated.

“Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust. And – so I think Israel has to respond.

“They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They’re hiding behind the civilians.”

When questioned over the ongoing siege of Gaza, where water, fuel and power have been cut off, Biden said he believed a humanitarian corridorshould be established.

He urged Israel to exercise caution as its ground forces prepare for an offensive in the territory, saying it would be “a big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.

Biden is weighing up an invite from Israel to visit the country, and may fly there in the coming days.

In Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis, Mohammad Ghalayini, a British citizen who lives in Manchester but returned to his hometown in Gaza last month, is sheltering.

He told the BBC that fuel is the major shortage in Gaza right now.

He says this is contributing to the lack of water as residents have been needing to use home pumps to access water reserves because municipal pumps have been switched off – after Israel cut off supplies of fuel, power, water and other goods after the Hamas attacks just over a week ago.

He said supplies of drinking water are being distributed “very sporadically”.

Ghalayin says he has heard from people sheltering in UN schools, of which there are thousands, who told him their food rations consist of “a can of sardines and a can of corned beef, with no bread… people are really struggling”.

Sources: BBC, VOA.
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