U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to request significant financial support from Congress to aid Israel in its ongoing conflict with the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. The move comes as tensions escalate in the Gaza Strip and as part of broader efforts to address international crises.
In a televised address from the White House, President Biden emphasised the urgency of the situation, highlighting the need to help innocent Palestinians in Gaza who are facing severe shortages of essential resources. He said, “We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace and have an opportunity.”
During his visit to Israel earlier in the week, President Biden sought to broker a deal to provide aid to Gaza but encountered only limited success. Israel and Egypt did agree to allow 20 trucks with relief supplies to cross into the enclave. However, logistical challenges and demands for assurances against supplies being commandeered by Hamas militants have hindered the process.
The newly appointed U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues, David Satterfield, is still negotiating the specifics of aid deliveries with Israeli and Egyptian officials. The United Nations has also called for aid to return to pre-conflict levels, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres planning to visit the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza.
As the situation worsened, President Biden requested additional funding for Israel, totalling $14 billion, to support its efforts against Hamas. He referred to this as a “smart investment that’s gonna pay dividends for American security for generations.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told troops stationed near the Gaza border to be prepared for a potential full-scale invasion of the territory. He said, “You see Gaza now from a distance; you will soon see it from inside. The command will come.”
The ongoing violence in Gaza has caused significant civilian casualties, with Palestinians suffering from shortages of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies. At the same time, concerns have risen that the conflict could spread to other regions, with clashes reported in the West Bank, Lebanon, and Yemen.
In response to these developments, the spokesperson for Hamas’ armed wing, Abu Obeida, called for anti-Israel rallies across Arab and Muslim countries on Friday. The situation remains fluid, with international efforts ongoing to alleviate the crisis and address the broader geopolitical context.