The American Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenmet a few hours ago in Jerusalem with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuto facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip.
At the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed “the United States’ commitment to the safe and rapid release of the Hamas hostages,” according to the statement issued by the State Department.
The American diplomat also spoke in Jerusalem with the Israeli president, Isaac Herzogand then headed to the Kirya military base, in Tel Aviv, to meet with the Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant.
White House spokesman John Kirby, declared this Monday that the White House was working “very, very hard” to open the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. It is the only exit route from Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, although the Hebrew Army has attacked the crossing repeatedly in recent hours.
In an interview with CNN, Kirby explained that his Administration was in contact with the Egyptian authorities to manage the opening of the corridor: “They have to be willing to have that door open and have human traffic flows through it.”
“We had those hopes over the weekend, only to see those hopes dashed,” Kirby added. On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Blinken in Cairo, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to allow the temporary opening of the Rafah crossing.
Blinken declared on Sunday that the corridor would be reopened, and this Monday the US Embassy in Jerusalem transferred US citizens in Gaza who could approach the border crossing if they considered it “safe” to do so. But in the end the opening towards Egypt did not occur.
In this sense, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, has blamed the Israeli Government for the blockade. The war cabinet led by Netanyahu has not yet adopted a position that would allow the opening of the crossing, according to Shoukry.
The corridor has remained blocked for the arrival of food, water, fuel and medicine supplies to Gaza that aid groups and friendly countries were trying to send to the Strip, with the coordination of Egypt.
Israel maintains its bombings on the border crossing. The Gaza Ministry of the Interior put the death toll in the latest attacks in Rafah by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) at five, and another 15 people were injured.