Biden Administration Pledges $100 Million Humanitarian Aid Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict; Will Hamas Intercept?

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 11/27/2023
Deliveries of food, water, and other necessities have been making their way into the Gaza Strip from Egypt for the past five weeks, helping to alleviate the dire shortages that the Palestinian people are suffering.

In response to the crises caused by the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration—which had a role in facilitating the shipment—has promised $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. Following last week's announcement of a hostage-release arrangement, more may be forthcoming.

Concerns that some material may fall into the hands of Hamas, the terrorist organization governing Gaza and responsible for the present conflict's unexpected and lethal onslaught on Israel on October 7, have stood in the way of the administration's plans to deliver much-needed relief. Hamas is a terrorist group according to the United States.

To aid terrorists in Gaza, why should we waste any time trying to figure out how to send additional supplies there? "This is completely illogical," Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida stated shortly after President Joe Biden announced the help.

The United States government has known for a long time that Palestinian families and individuals are using humanitarian funds, such domestic assistance payments, to fund terrorist crimes. Israeli authorities further claim that Hamas diverted millions of dollars from infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and hospitals to construct a system of tunnels that terrorists and weapons use to smuggle in and out of the country.

The Biden administration has been vocal about its fears that Hamas may divert or steal aid, and Biden has threatened to cut off funding if this occurs.

The United States wants to avoid supporting Hamas and instead aid the Palestinians. Hamas has both a military branch and a governing body that oversees all aspects of Gaza's administration, from healthcare to road building, making it difficult to differentiate between the two.

According to John Kirby, the White House spokesperson for national security affairs, the United States has not detected any signs that Hamas has obtained any of the most recent aid that has arrived in Gaza.

More than 1,370 truckloads of humanitarian goods have reached Gaza as of last week, with 50 of those truckloads arriving in a single 24-hour period, according to Kirby. We need 150 trucks each day, and we're not even close to that now. United Nations vehicles provide supplies to humanitarian groups, who subsequently distribute them to the Gaza residents.

The government claims that inspections and other preventative measures are in place to ensure that the assistance reaches those in most need and prevent its theft.

According to Hardin Lang of the Washington-based NGO Refugees International, "the need is close to catastrophic at this stage" because to the 1.7 million individuals displaced from Gaza out of 2.3 million overall.

According to Matthew Levitt, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, DC, homes and businesses have been leveled, the Hamas government bureaucracy is non-functional, militants are utilizing hospitals, and there are severe shortages of water, food, and fuel.

"Considering the gravity of the situation and the opportunity to alleviate part of the humanitarian crisis, we ought to take that action," Levitt stated.

According to Levitt, the provision of humanitarian help has never been contingent upon the assurance that extremists would not get any funding at all.

He emphasized that a harmony should exist between the two. "Our main goal is to ensure that people do not perish."

The hostage-release arrangement may lead to more humanitarian help for the Palestinians, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who made the announcement last week.

"It has been clear that for some time that an agreement on hostages would release or would unlock the potential for delivery of more humanitarian assistance," Miller said, adding that although the United States has long insisted that a hostage deal is not necessary to release more humanitarian aid, the reality is different.


As shipments of supplies have made their way into Gaza, Cyprus has extended an offer to provide a naval passage. President Nikos Christodoulides of Cyprus has stated that this plan is a workable approach to bolstering the humanitarian supplies entering Gaza via Egypt's Rafah border crossing.

Even though Gaza is just around 210 nautical miles from Cyprus, the safety of goods landing at Gaza's small port infrastructure is questionable. An industry website for maritime news, The Maritime Executive, reports that Gaza City, the de facto core of Israel's military campaign, is located at the northern end of the territory and is home to Gaza's sole significant seaport.


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