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Blinken Asserts Israel Must Increase Efforts to Enhance Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: NPR)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized on Monday the need for Israel to do more to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip. During his seventh trip to the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in October, Blinken pledged to address this issue with Israeli leaders.

Speaking at events in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Blinken stressed that achieving a cease-fire agreement would be the most effective way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. He highlighted an offer made by Israel to Hamas, describing it as “extraordinarily generous” and urging Hamas to accept it promptly.

Despite ongoing negotiations, Hamas has thus far rejected several proposed deals brokered by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, and agreed upon by Israel. However, Blinken emphasized the urgency of improving conditions in Gaza regardless of a cease-fire agreement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: CNN)

While addressing Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia, Blinken acknowledged some progress in recent weeks, including the opening of new crossings and increased aid delivery to Gaza. However, he stressed the need for further efforts to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need.

Blinken also emphasized the importance of enhancing the safety of humanitarian workers and ensuring that aid reaches Palestinian civilians effectively. He cited the risks faced by relief workers, including recent attacks on aid convoys in Gaza, as evidence of the challenges involved.

As Blinken continues his Middle East tour, he faces the daunting task of addressing the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has resulted in serious casualties and displacement. The conflict has sparked global protests and raised concerns about U.S. support for Israel, particularly in light of potential repercussions in an election year.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: Arab News)

Blinken’s visit comes in the middle of renewed tensions in the region and stalled prospects for Israeli-Saudi reconciliation. The Biden administration has warned against further escalation of the conflict, emphasizing the need to prevent it from spreading across the region.

During his trip, Blinken aims to underscore the importance of averting a broader regional conflict while urging all parties to work towards a peaceful resolution in Gaza.

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