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US to keep eyes on Israel as more entryways open for aid into Gaza

Joe Biden increases pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu to allow more supplies of food and medicine into Gaza

Joe Biden increases pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu to allow more supplies of food and medicine into Gaza Credit: YURI GRIPAS /ABACA

Openings must match concrete results, says US Secretary of State as White House toughens approach to Israel The US has said it will watch closely to see more aid entering Gaza after Israel announced it would open more entryways into the besieged Strip.

On Thursday, Joe Biden warned Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, that he would limit weapons supplies if Israel did not allow more supplies of food and medicine into Gaza.

Later that night, Israel announced that the Erez crossing in the north and the Ashdod port would both be opened for aid deliveries.

On Friday, 100 aid trucks from Jordan were taken across the Allenby crossing to enter Gaza through Kerem Shalom in Israel’s south, which will open on Saturday following the latest cabinet decision.

From Sunday, aid will be delivered both through Israel’s Ashdod port and the Erez crossing, the first time the crossing has been opened since terrorist group Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The US has steadily increased the pressure on Israel during its war against Hamas, as agencies including the United Nations claim a famine is underway in Gaza.

The White House ordered aid to be delivered by air drops last month after it was unsuccessful in convincing Israel to open more land routes.

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said the announcement of the openings must be matched with concrete results.

“Really, the proof is in the results, and we will see those unfold in the coming days, in the coming weeks,” he said on Friday, addressing EU leaders in Belgium.

Since the war began, more than 33,000 more Palestinians are said to have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry. Around two-thirds of the population of over two million have also been displaced.

Israel needs the legitimacy of US support to ensure it can fulfil its war aims of eradicating Hamas and bringing back the hostages.

But Mr Biden, who is said to be privately furious with Mr Netanyahu, has begun to toughen Washington’s approach to Israel, including a crackdown on illegal settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Last month, the US imposed sanctions on two Israeli outposts and three settlers it accused of undermining stability in the occupied West Bank and appealed to Israel to do more to prevent settler violence that Washington says is an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

In the latest move, the administration is drawing up plans to require goods produced in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank to be clearly labelled as such, the Financial Times reported.

Until 2020, when the legislation was changed under President Donald Trump, US policy insisted that products made in the settlements be clearly labelled.


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