Biden’s advisor demands Israel allow aid access to all of Gaza Strip

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US President Joe Biden’s security advisor, Jake Sullivan, has insisted on access to humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip in talks with the Israeli leadership. It is important that Israel and Egypt conclude their talks on the early reopening of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Sullivan stressed in talks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, the White House said on Monday.

Humanitarian workers must be able to safely deliver aid to those in need throughout the Gaza Strip, Sullivan stressed. He added that all available border crossings must be used for aid to reach the coastal territory. Galant and Halevi had informed Sullivan about “new alternative approaches” to fighting the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas in Rafah. The US has harshly criticised a major Israeli ground offensive in the southern Gaza Strip city, located on the border with Egypt.

“Both sides agreed to continue talks,” the White House said. Sullivan also met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his meetings with the ministers in the war cabinet, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, Sullivan reiterated that the US wanted to see Hamas defeated and all Israeli hostages still in the group’s hands released. He had made similar comments in talks with Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid.

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During his visit to the region, Sullivan also met with Hussein al-Sheikh, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa of the Palestinian Authority (PA), it was reported. They had discussed ending the fighting through a hostage agreement.