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Biden puts condition on humanitarian aid to Gaza as Israel allows Egypt to deliver supplies

President Biden has placed a condition on humanitarian aid going into the Gaza Strip, as Israel said Wednesday it will allow Egypt to deliver limited supplies for civilians. The aid will be the first assistance given to Gaza since Israel imposed a punishing 10-day siege on the territory.

The announcement to allow water, food and other supplies happened after President Biden visited Israel Wednesday hoping to prevent a wider conflict in the region. During his one-day visit to Israel, Biden announced $100 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank but said if Hamas confiscates the aid “it will end.”

Biden’s visit tried to strike a balance between showing U.S. support for Israel amid its war with Hamas while expressing concern for the civilian casualties. He unequivocally said the U.S. stands with Israel and its right to defend itself from Hamas terror attacks but attempted to dampen growing alarm among Arab allies that the current war could escalate into a wider conflict.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the approval to allow the aid was given after Biden requested it. He said Israel “will not thwart” deliveries of food, water or medicine from Egypt, as long as they don’t go to Hamas militants.

“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.”

More than 1 million Palestinians — roughly half of Gaza’s population — have fled their homes, fleeing from the north and Gaza City to the south, since the start of the war.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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