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Biden and Netanyahu Agree to a ‘Continued Flow’ of Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed in a phone call Sunday that Israel will allow a “continued flow” of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, according to the White House.

During the call, Biden “welcomed the first two convoys of humanitarian assistance since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack, which crossed the border into Gaza and is being distributed to Palestinians in need,” according to a readout from the White House. “The leaders affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza.”

The first two convoys of aid reached Palestinians this weekend, after the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza opened Saturday to allow food and medical assistance into the region. Another convoy of 15 trucks was expected to cross Sunday evening, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues David Satterfield said Sunday during an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.”

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 incursion into Israel, killing more than 1,300 people and abducting as many as 200 more, Israel has mounted an aggressive counterattack while choking the flow of food and medical aid, amid fears the supplies could fall into the hands of Hamas militants.

The ongoing blockade of Gaza has pushed the territory’s 2.3 million people to the brink of starvation, Cindy McCain, executive director of the U.N.’s World Food Program, told POLITICO on Sunday.

During the call Sunday, Biden and Netanyahu also discussed efforts “to secure the release of all the remaining hostages taken by Hamas – including U.S. citizens – and to provide for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza who wish to depart,” according to the White House.

In a joint statement released later Sunday, the leaders of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. committed to continued cooperation with regional partners on delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, securing the release of hostages and supporting their respective citizens’ efforts to leave Gaza.

The leaders “reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”

The statement further called for continued close diplomatic coordination “to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace.”