Israel: No Aid for Gaza Until Hamas Releases Hostages

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

No humanitarian aid will be delivered to the Gaza Strip until Hamas terrorists release the hostages they kidnapped during their October 7 attack, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Wednesday.

Netanyahu’s office stated that in light of the “overwhelming and vital” support from United States President Joe Biden’s call for humanitarian aid for Gaza, Israel’s war cabinet has decided the following, according to the Times of Israel:

1. Israel will not allow any humanitarian aid to be delivered from its territory to the Gaza Strip until the hostages being held by terror groups are returned.

2. Israel demands that the International Red Cross be able to visit the hostages and will work to mobilize international support for this demand.

3. Israel will not thwart humanitarian supplies from reaching Gaza from Egypt as long as it is only food, water and medicine for the civilian population located in the southern Gaza Strip. Any supplies that reach Hamas will be blocked by Israel.

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All decisions will still need to be approved by the full war cabinet, according to Netanyahu’s office.

The announcement comes after evidence emerged from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as well as independent (and even hostile) media, that an errant Palestinian terrorist group’s rocket, and not an Israeli airstrike, launched near a Gaza City hospital misfired and hit the parking lot, causing a fire and apparent casualties.

The announcement also comes after Biden announced $100 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza and the West Bank during a visit to Israel on Wednesday. Additionally, Biden announced that he would request an “unprecedented support package” for Israel later this week.

Protesters lift Palestinian flags and a portrait of Mohammed Deif chief of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, during rally at the entrance of the French embassy complex in Beirut early on October 18, 2023, in support of Palestinians after a blast ripped through the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza killing hundreds. Israel and Palestinians traded blame for the incident, which an "outraged and deeply saddened" US President Joe Biden denounced while en route to the Middle East. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Protesters lift Palestinian flags during rally at the entrance of the French embassy complex in Beirut on October 18, 2023, in support of Palestinians after a bombing at the Ahli Arab hospital in central Gaza. (ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

So far, the Israeli government says it has identified and notified the families of 199 people known to be held hostage since the terrorist attack.

Hamas launched the terror attack on Israel early Saturday, October 7, and has thus far killed more than 1,300 and injured more than 3,400 people, according to reports. The attack occurred on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the last festival of the High Holy Day cycle.

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More than 100 Israelis were also kidnapped to Gaza — including women, children, and the elderly, many of whom were abused during their abductions. The Palestinian terror attack against Israel has been referred to as the “worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.”

Hundreds of foreign nationals in Israel have also been reported murdered, missing, or abducted by Hamas terrorists following the deadly invasion. At least 31 U.S. citizens have been killed, and an unspecified number of Americans have been taken hostage or remain unaccounted for.


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