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White House: US "actively working" to create civilian safe corridor in Gaza.

New York, Wednesday, 11 October 2023

The US is in active talks with Israel and Egypt to establish "safe passage" corridors for civilians in Gaza to flee ongoing Israeli airstrikes, the White House said Wednesday amid an expected ground offensive in the besieged enclave.

"We're actively discussing this with our Israeli and our Egyptian counterparts. We support safe passions for civilians. Civilians are not to blame for what Hamas has done. They didn't do anything wrong," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

"We are actively working on this with Egyptian and our Israeli counterparts. Civilians are protected under the laws of armed conflict, and they should be given every opportunity to avoid the fighting," he added.

Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip in response to a military offensive Saturday by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israel.

The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.

Hamas said it was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip in response

That response was extended into cutting water, food, fuel and electricity to Gaza in what it describes as a "full siege," further worsening living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

Kirby said the US believes "it's important that humanitarian assistance have a way to continue to get to the Palestinian people," and indicated the Biden administration is working with Cairo and Israel to facilitate aid delivery.

"We are the biggest contributor to humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, particularly there in Gaza, and we want to be able to see that assistance continue. So, it's food, water, medical supplies, medicine, I mean it's the whole panoply of humanitarian assistance that we know are important, because, again, these people are victims too. They didn't ask Hamas to do this," he said.


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