Press "Enter" to skip to content

Biden: Israel has 'not done enough' to protect aid workers, civilians

President Biden on Tuesday said he was “outraged and heartbroken” after an Israeli strike killed several humanitarian workers in Gaza, calling on Israel to conduct a full investigation and make the findings public.

Biden called the World Central Kitchen workers killed in the blast, which included one American citizen, “brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy.”

“Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed,” Biden said in a statement. “This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult — because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians. 

“Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen,” he continued. “Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians. The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties.”

Biden said he spoke earlier in the day with Chef José Andrés, the founder of World Central Kitchen, to express his condolences. The president vowed to continue pressing Israel to do more to facilitate humanitarian aid into Gaza, and he said his administration is continuing to work to broker an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas as part of a hostage deal.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility Tuesday for the deadly strike that killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen a day earlier.

“This happens in war,” he said in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.”

The deaths of the foreign aid workers are likely to increase anger and frustration with Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, where more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of thousands face famine.

Biden has already faced intense backlash from progressive lawmakers and members of the Muslim-American community over his handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, which began last October when Hamas killed more than 1,000 Israelis in a terrorist attack.

The president has sought to balance support for Israel’s right to defend itself with increased public calls for Israel to limit civilian casualties in Gaza and to allow more aid into the area.

White House spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday acknowledged the latest death of humanitarian workers was “emblematic of a larger problem” since the conflict began, but he indicated there would be no change in U.S. support for Israel.

“They’re still under a viable threat of Hamas,” Kirby said. “We’re still going to make sure they can defend themselves and the 7th of October doesn’t happen again. That doesn’t mean that it’s a free pass that we look the other way when something like this happens.”

Source: The Hill

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *