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Israel occupation of Gaza would be ‘big mistake’: Joe Biden

Israel occupation of Gaza would be ‘big mistake’: Joe Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden has said that any Israeli attempt to occupy Gaza would be a “big mistake” amid hopes for the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border to allow humanitarian aid, while Israeli forces continued their preparations for a ground invasion.

During an interview on 60 Minutes, Biden said that the Hamas militant group needed to be eliminated, but he also emphasized the importance of establishing a pathway towards a Palestinian state, reports The Guardian.

Israel has been pounding Gaza after Hamas killed more than 1, 300 Israelis and took many hostages in an unprecedented attack. Israel retaliated killing at least 2,670 people in Gaza so far, the majority of them ordinary Palestinians, and destroying the infrastructure.

Asked if he would support any occupation of Gaza, Biden replied: “I think it’d be a big mistake.” Hamas “don’t represent all the Palestinian people,” he continued.

The US has been actively engaged in efforts to facilitate an agreement for the reopening of Egypt's Rafah crossing with Gaza. This is intended to enable the Americans and other foreign nationals to transport humanitarian aid that has been stockpiled on the Egyptian side of the border. On Sunday, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced that the crossing is set to reopen.

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“Egypt has put in place a lot of material support for people in Gaza, and Rafah will be reopened,” Blinken told reporters in Cairo after what he said was a “very good conversation” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, reports The Guardian.

The US told its citizens in Gaza on Saturday they should move closer to the crossing in case it opened.

While Blinken did not provide a precise timeframe for the crossing's reopening, NBC News, citing a Palestinian official, indicated that the crossing was scheduled to open at 9 am on Monday.

Additionally, citing information from a security source, ABC News reported that the crossing would open for a few hours on Monday, although specific details were not provided.

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Israel has received stark warnings regarding the potential consequences of deploying ground troops in Gaza. Aid organizations have cautioned about the risk of a humanitarian crisis, concerns over an escalation in the conflict, and the difficulties associated with distinguishing militants from civilians in the densely populated and impoverished region.

The United Nations Humanitarian Office (OCHA) reported early on Monday that fuel reserves in all Gaza hospitals are anticipated to deplete within approximately 24 hours.

In Gaza, healthcare professionals have issued dire warnings, expressing concern that thousands of lives may be at risk as hospitals, filled to capacity with wounded individuals, faced an acute shortage of fuel and essential provisions.

Within the besieged coastal enclave, Palestinian residents grappled with severe challenges in securing access to food, water, and safety, particularly in anticipation of an imminent Israeli ground offensive.

The Gaza Strip's only power plant ceased operations due to a lack of fuel, a consequence of Israel's complete blockade of the 40-kilometer-long territory following the Hamas attack.

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TAGS:Joe BidenWorld NewsIsrael Palestine Conflict
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