Biden speaks to Al-Sisi, appreciates Egypt’s role in delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza


United States President Joe Biden on Sunday spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and appreciated Egypt’s leading role in efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of Gaza. According to a White House statement, the two leaders committed to the significant acceleration and increase of assistance flowing into Gaza beginning today and then continuously. They also discussed the importance of protecting civilian lives, respect for international humanitarian law, and ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation.

President Biden briefed President Sisi on US efforts to ensure that regional actors do not expand the conflict in Gaza and also on continuing efforts to secure the release of hostages. The two leaders affirmed their commitment to work together to set the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East including the establishment of a Palestinian state, the White House statement added. Notably, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza was opened earlier this month so that the humanitarian aid can be passed into the crisis-stricken area. Several trucks carrying food, medicine, and water have entered the enclave, however, so far fuel has not been allowed to enter Gaza.

Gaza, home to over 2 million civilians, faces the ongoing threat of severe dehydration and starvation due to Israel’s persistent bombardment and complete blockade. The UN Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has expressed concern on escalating issues of hunger and disease in Gaza. “Supplies on the market are running out while the humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip on trucks from Egypt is insufficient. The needs of the communities are immense, if only for basic survival, while the aid we receive is meagre and inconsistent” said Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in the Gaza Strip.


UNRWA also said that to date, just over 80 trucks of aid crossed into Gaza in one week. UNRWA teams in Gaza however reported that internet services and connections were restored. Earlier on Sunday, Biden also held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed developments in Gaza. Biden reiterated that Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terrorism. The two leaders discussed ongoing efforts to locate and secure the release of hostages. Biden underscored the need to immediately and significantly increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of civilians in Gaza.

Since Hamas’s attack on Israel, Biden and Netanyahu have several times held talks over the phone. The US has condemned Hamas’s attack on Israel and has supported Israel’s right to defend itself after Hamas’s action on October 7. Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden visited Israel to show Washington’s support for Tel Aviv amid its ongoing conflict with Hamas. Prior to this, two top officials; Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin also visited Israel.