Israel has agreed to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, but only from Egypt. It will not allow any aid to enter Gaza from its territory until Hamas releases all hostages, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
The move to allow crucial supplies into Gaza was made after U.S. President Joe Biden met with Netanyahu and his war cabinet on Wednesday.
“I asked the Israeli cabinet to agree to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza based on the understanding that there will be inspections, and that the aid should go to civilians and not to Hamas,” Biden said at a press conference. “Israel agreed the assistance can begin to move.”
Israel said that the supplies would be limited to medicine, water, and food for civilians in the southern Gaza Strip, or for people who are relocating to that region. “Any supplies that reach Hamas will be thwarted,” the statement said.
Israel also demanded the Red Cross to visit Israeli hostages.
Until Biden’s meeting, Israel had refused to heed calls from human rights groups to release aid into Gaza, which advocates warned is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. Israeli officials had stressed that the siege imposed on Gaza would not be lifted until Hamas released all hostages.