The President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed this Sunday that “there will be a continuous flow of aid” to Gaza during a telephone conversation about the conflict region. On the other hand, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant already warned that the ground incursion into Gaza in the next phase of the war “may last for months”, but when it ends “Hamas will no longer exist.”
“The ground offensive must be the last maneuver in Gaza, for the simple reason that after it there will be no more Hamas,” the minister said during a visit to the Israeli Air Force command center in Tel Aviv. “It will be a month, two or three, but in the end, there will be no Hamas,” he stressed. Israel has not yet decided to enter the Gaza Strip by land, but it has bombed the entire enclave, including civilian infrastructure.
As for the conversation between Biden and Netanyahu, it comes at a time when the Gaza Strip receives humanitarian aid for the second day in a row, mostly medicine, water, and food, through the Rafah border crossing, which connects the Egyptian Sinai. “Leaders confirmed that there will be a continued flow of this critical aid to Gaza,” the White House statement said.
It also highlighted that Biden welcomed the first two humanitarian aid convoys to arrive in the Gaza Strip since October 7, when a surprise attack by the Islamist group Hamas in Israel then unleashed an offensive against Gaza, leaving the city surrounded.
Release of US hostages
Biden thanked Israel for its help in securing the release on Friday of American hostages Judith and her daughter Natalie Raanan, who were visiting Israel to celebrate a family member’s birthday with the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah when they were taken hostage by Hamas.
According to the White House, Biden and Netanyahu discussed the efforts being made to secure the release of all hostages and to provide safe passage for US citizens and other civilians in Gaza who wish to leave the area.
Biden also spoke to Pope Francis about the efforts made by the United States to “guarantee” the delivery of humanitarian aid and the need to avoid development in the region and work for lasting peace in the Middle East.