Tel Aviv: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials of his government in an effort to push for concrete steps to minimise the civilian casualties in Gaza and to increase the flow of humanitarian aid to the besieged Strip.
Blinken said that the U.S supports Israel’s right to defend but how Israel carries out the ground invasion of Gaza is a matter of concern for the U.S.
Netanyahu said that Israel will not agree to any ceasefire till the Israeli hostages are not freed, USA Today reported.
Meantime, thousands of stranded Palestinian labourers in Israel and the West Bank have started to return to the besieged enclave. At the Rafah crossing, more foreign nationals and injured Palestinians in Gaza were allowed to leave the Gaza on Friday under an agreement between the U.S, Egypt, Israel and Qatar.
Over 800 people also left after Rafah crossing was partially opened on Wednesday.
Israel has allowed over 260 trucks carrying food, water and medicines to go through the Rafah border even as aid workers said it wasn’t enough and would not find its way to civilians in north Gaza where Israeli troops have tightened their grip.
Most of the hospitals across Gaza, including the only cancer facility, are not operating due to massive fuel shortage.
Netanyahu on Thursday said that his administration is yet to make a decision on whether to allow fuel to get to the medical facilities or not, reports said.
Palestinian death toll has surpassed 9,000 — including more than 3,600 children.
Since October 7, more than 1,400 Israelis have died, most of them civilians killed in the first hours of Hamas’ surprise attack.