[Photo Credit: By Palácio do Planalto from Brasilia, Brasil - 02/04/2019 Cerimônia de abertura do encontro empresarial Brasil-Israel, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81627607]
The demand to halt Israel’s strikes on Hamas was met with significant resistance by the prime minister of Israel when Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for greater measures to safeguard civilians in Gaza.
The United States is applying more pressure to Israel, claiming that it has a moral obligation to stop hostilities until humanitarian aid, especially gasoline, reaches Gaza.
Comparable requests have been made by France, Spain, and other European nations.
Following Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7, the Israeli military has bombed Gaza, killing thousands of civilians—many of them children—and forcing two-thirds of the enclave’s over two million residents to flee their homes.
The campaign targets the militants and their infrastructure.
Merely a small amount of food, water, and medication has been permitted to reach Gaza. Israel has cut off supply of gasoline required to generate electricity, claiming that Hamas stores fuel for use in warfare.
Israel’s resistance to a suggested humanitarian pause has caused Washington and the Israeli government to disagree. There will eventually be a breakthrough, according to some U.S. officials, but timing is critical.
Blinken had a lengthy discussion with Israel’s war cabinet to hear plans and strategies for averting a wider conflict.
He also met with Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, among other officials of the Israeli administration.
As concerns mounted that the fight might spread to a second front with the Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah, which is sponsored by Iran, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the group, issued a warning that a regional war with Israel was a serious possibility.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning to its residents on Friday to travel with caution since there has been an uptick in violence against Israelis and Jews worldwide.