Biden says humanitarian crisis in Gaza a priority as evacuation deadline nears

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Tioga Marine Terminal, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Tioga Marine Terminal, Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP/Evan Vucci)

US President Joe Biden says that it’s a priority of his administration to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at an event in Philadelphia to promote a $7 billion program to kickstart development and production of hydrogen fuel in the US, Biden paused to note the deteriorating situation for Palestinians in the Palestinian enclave as Israel continues to bombard the strip in retaliation for last weekend devastating surprise assault on Israel.

Hamas terrorists killed over 1,300 people, a majority of them civilians, during an hours-long raid on southern Israeli communities and at a music festival. They also took between 150 and 200 Israelis and duals nationals hostage, including children, women, and elderly people, and are holding them in the Gaza Strip.

Israel responded by cutting off electricity, food, and fuel and launching extensive airstrikes to target the terror group’s infrastructure and hit Hamas leaders and members.

The military early Friday warned Gaza residents in the northern part of the strip to evacuate within 24 hours, amid preparations for a likely ground incursion or a stepped-up offensive. The area is home to about 1 million people.

The deadline is nearing.

In his comments Friday, Biden said he’s directed his team to work with the governments in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and other Arab nations and the United Nations to surge humanitarian relief to those impacted by the war.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do Hamas,” Biden said. “And they’re suffering as a result as well.”

Biden again lashed out at Hamas, saying the terror group in control of Gaza makes the terrorist group Al-Qaeda “look pure.”

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