Blinken says countries decrying conditions in Gaza should put their money where their mouths are

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Palestinians collect water near buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes on Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on June 11, 2024. (Eyad Baba/AFP)
Palestinians collect water near buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes on Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on June 11, 2024. (Eyad Baba/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticizes countries who have been speaking out about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza while not backing up their rhetoric with aid for Palestinians.

“Only one-third of the current United Nations appeal [for Gaza] is funded. That leaves a shortfall of approximately $2.3 billion. Every country can help fill this gap,” Blinken says in a speech to a conference in Jordan aimed at fundraising for Gaza.

“Yet some who’ve expressed great concern over the suffering of Palestinian people in Gaza, including countries with the capacity to give a lot, have provided very little or nothing at all. It is time for everyone – everyone – to step up,” he continues.

“For those who have already given and given generously, give more,” Blinken adds, noting that the US had just announced an additional $404 million in new aid to Palestinians.

Blinken also offers new details on some of the steps Washington has pressed Israel to take in order to alleviate humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

These steps include speeding up the inspection of aid trucks, clarifying and shortening the list of prohibited goods, increasing visas for aid workers, improving deconfliction channels with aid groups, expanding authorizations of equipment for hospitals and for repairing water and sanitation systems, Blinken says.

He notes that Israel has taken steps to improve the humanitarian situation, including by opening additional crossings into Gaza. However, he stresses this has not been enough and calls on Jerusalem to do more, including by taking more steps to reduce the number of civilians killed in its military operations.

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