Biden praises Netanyahu, Sissi on Gaza humanitarian aid deal: They ‘stepped up’

US President Joe Biden praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi for an agreement to let humanitarian aid in to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.

Speaking to reporters at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany following a brief solidarity visit to Israel on Wednesday, Biden said Sissi agreed to open the crossing and to let in an initial group of 20 trucks with humanitarian aid, and possibly more at a later time.

“Sissi deserves some real credit because he was very accommodating,” Biden said, adding that the Egyptian president was “fair” and “very cooperative.”

Israel stopped all entry of food, water, medicine and fuel to Gaza following Hamas’s brutal onslaught on October 7 when some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing 200-250 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.

The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — men, women, children and the elderly. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 260 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists, in what Biden has highlighted as “the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

Israel had bombed the Rafah crossing to prevent all entry of materials shortly after the war broke out.

Biden’s wartime visit to Israel Wednesday was aimed at showing support and also securing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian enclave, ruled by the Hamas terror group.

Netanyahu’s office said Israel “will not thwart” deliveries of food, water or medicine from Egypt, as long as they are limited to civilians in the south of the Gaza Strip and don’t go to Hamas terrorists. Netanyahu also vowed not to let any aid into the Strip through Israel’s crossings.

Biden warned that “if Hamas confiscates it, doesn’t let it get through … then it’s going to end,” he said. The aid will start moving Friday at the earliest, White House officials said.

Biden clarified that people will not be able to evacuate Gaza through Rafah, apparently in order to assuage fears in Cairo that Egypt will be asked to take in refugees from Gaza.

Biden said he thought he’s have to spend more time trying to convince Sissi but he “stepped up as did Bibi [Netanyahu],” Biden told reporters.

“Israel has been badly victimized, but, you know, the truth is that if they have an opportunity to relieve suffering of people who are — have nowhere to go… it’s what they should do. And if they don’t, they’ll be held accountable in ways that may be unfair,” he said, adding that he was “very blunt with the Israelis in talks Wednesday.

“If you have an opportunity to alleviate the pain, you should do it. Period. And if you don’t, you’re going to lose credibility worldwide,” he said.

Relatives of some of the roughly 200 people who were taken hostage and forced into Gaza during the attack reacted with fury to the aid announcement.

“Children, infants, women, soldiers, men, and elderly, some with serious illnesses, wounded and shot, are held underground like animals,” said a statement from the Hostage and Missing Families Forum. But “the Israeli government pampers the murderers and kidnappers.”

The UN earlier today said that roughly 100 trucks of aid per day will be needed to rehabilitate Gaza following the Israeli counter-attacks.

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