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Biden says Netanyahu not doing enough to facilitate Gaza aid

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‘We’ll see what he does in terms of meeting the commitments he made,’ says US president about Israeli premier.

US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not done enough to ensure that humanitarian aid is entering the besieged Gaza Strip.

Biden enumerated the pledges the Israeli leader made to him, including bolstering the amount of aid entering Gaza, and “reducing significantly” civilian casualties in Gaza and elsewhere in the region where Israel is carrying out military action. He did not specify the theaters, but Israel has conducted strikes across Lebanon and Syria.

“I have been very blunt, straightforward with the prime minister as well as his war cabinet, as well as the cabinet,” Biden said during a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House.

The president pointed to a recent increase in the number of trucks carrying humanitarian aid that have been able to enter Gaza, but said, “It’s not enough.”

“There needs to be more, and there’s one more opening that has to take place in the north. So we’ll see what he does in terms of meeting the commitments he made,” he added.

Biden was likely referring to the Erez crossing along the northern Gaza border with Israel.

The White House said Tel Aviv had committed to opening it for aid deliveries following a telephone call last Thursday between Netanyahu and Biden in which the president warned that future US support for Israel’s war on Gaza depends on the Israeli government instituting major reforms to the war effort.

The warning came after seven international humanitarian workers were killed in Israeli airstrikes in central Gaza after they finished delivering supplies to an aid center.

More than 33,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the war began in October following a cross-border attack led by Hamas that killed less than 1,200 people.

In addition to its sweeping military offensive, Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the seaside enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while much of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has urged Israel to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.

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