Visiting the occupied West Bank for the first time since the start of the war on October 7, the American Secretary of State warned, Sunday, November 5, 2023, against the “forced displacement” of Palestinian civilians inside the Gaza Strip, where Israel continues its offensive launched in retaliation for the Hamas terrorist attack.
While Israeli bombings have now caused, according to Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip, nearly 10,000 deaths, the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas denounced during his meeting in Ramallah with Antony Blinken “the war of genocide » carried out according to him by Israel in Gaza.
A maritime corridor from Cyprus?
According to his spokesperson, the American Secretary of State reaffirmed on Sunday “the United States’ commitment to the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance and the resumption of essential services in Gaza.”
In Cyprus, Antony Blinken met with President Nikos Christodoulidis to discuss, according to the Cypriot presidency, the creation of “a maritime corridor” to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza.
Antony Blinken also called for an end to “extremist violence” in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, where the violence which has increased since the start of the war raises fears of an extension of the conflict.
The Palestinian Authority no longer exercises any control over the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power there in 2007. And Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday linked his return to Gaza at the end of the war, to a “political settlement » which would also include the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Humanitarian breaks requested
On Sunday, despite multiple calls for a truce, fierce fighting continued in the Gaza Strip. Israel announced that it had “intensified” its operations after surrounding Thursday the city of Gaza, in the north, in order to destroy the “center” of Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.
Arab countries allied with the United States called for a ceasefire on Saturday, while Washington favors “pauses” to deliver humanitarian aid. France also called for an “immediate humanitarian truce” on Sunday.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes any pause in the war until the more than 240 hostages kidnapped and held by Hamas have been released. And Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed to “find” and “eliminate” Yahya Sinouar, leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
In four weeks, Israeli bombings have caused immense destruction in Gaza and led, according to the UN, to the displacement of 1.5 million people.
Antony Blinken was still expected on Sunday evening in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared breaking all contact with Benjamin Netanyahu to protest against the Israeli offensive.
This article is originally published on lanouvellerepublique.fr