On Sunday, President Biden conducted an urgent telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the lives of civilians as Israel responds to the recent aggressive actions by Hamas earlier this month.
Biden expressed that Israel possesses the rightful authority to safeguard itself; however, it should do so “in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law that prioritizes the protection of civilians,” as outlined in a White House synopsis of their conversation.
The two leaders also deliberated on strategies to locate and liberate the approximately 200 hostages taken by Hamas during their operation on October 7. They also underscored the immediate necessity to substantially increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Gaza Strip, as noted by the Biden administration.
Moreover, President Biden extended a warm reception to the first two humanitarian aid convoys that entered Gaza since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas. These convoys have crossed the border and are presently being distributed to Palestinian individuals in need.
A supplementary convoy of 15 trucks was anticipated to enter the conflict-affected region on Sunday night, as conveyed by David Satterfield, the US Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs in the Middle East, during his appearance on “Inside with Jen Psaki” on MSNBC.
The Israeli retaliatory actions, initiated following the incursion by Hamas militants into the Israeli border on October 7, where they abducted and harmed civilians, have caused severe harm to the 2.3 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. Additionally, an ongoing blockade has placed the Palestinian population in a precarious state, with the risk of reaching the brink of starvation, as highlighted by Cindy McCain, who serves as the executive director of the UN’s World Food Program.
Global calls for a cease-fire in the ongoing conflict have intensified. The violence has taken a significant toll, with over 1,400 Israelis losing their lives and 5,000 sustaining injuries. On the Palestinian side, the casualties are far more staggering, with 8,000 reported fatalities and over 22,000 wounded. Additionally, the conflict has resulted in the displacement of over 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza, which represents well over half of the strip’s population located along the Mediterranean coastline, all stemming from the actions of the terror group.