Blinken Urges Immediate Action to Alleviate Gaza Crisis at Jordan Summit

Sweimeh, Jordan — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling for immediate and bold actions to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians.

“The crisis in Gaza is immense,” Blinken said at the summit on Gaza’s humanitarian crisis. “The single most effective step we can take to address the urgent humanitarian challenges in Gaza is to reach an immediate and ultimately enduring cease-fire.”

Blinken arrived at the conference in Jordan after visiting Israel, where he advocated for a truce. The summit, titled “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza,” was co-hosted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Referencing a comprehensive proposal announced by President Joe Biden, which includes a full cease-fire, withdrawal of Israeli forces, release of hostages, and reconstruction efforts, Blinken noted, “When I met Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday in Israel, he reaffirmed his support and commitment to bringing this proposal across the finish line.” He also highlighted the UN Security Council’s support for the proposal.

The conflict, which began last October following a cross-border offensive by Hamas on Israel, has resulted in the deaths of more than 37,000 Palestinians. Israel has also destroyed much of the Gaza Strip and imposed a strict blockade, pushing its population of over 2 million to the brink of famine.

“There is no time to waste, given the hell that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are enduring every single day,” Blinken said.

He identified Hamas as an obstacle to the truce proposal’s implementation and urged international actors to press the group to accept the deal. “Press them publicly. Press them privately. And Hamas should not require much convincing,” he added.

Blinken called for increased international aid to address a $2.3 billion shortfall in the UN’s appeal. He announced an additional $404 million in new aid from the US and urged other countries to contribute more generously.

To enhance aid delivery, Blinken stressed the need for Israeli cooperation to expedite inspections, reduce backlogs, and facilitate aid workers’ access. He also urged Israel to take further steps to reduce civilian casualties, acknowledging the challenges posed by the ongoing conflict.

Blinken shared stories of children affected by the conflict, including 10-year-old Abed, who lost his family in an airstrike, and 11-year-old Dunia, who dreams of becoming a doctor despite losing her leg and her family.

“These children, Abed, Fadi, Dunia, and all the Palestinian civilians suffering in Gaza, we know they’re not numbers. They’re not abstractions. They’re human beings,” he said.

Concluding his address, Blinken called for a recommitment to upholding humanity and building “a better future for both Palestinians and Israelis.”

“If we can see the humanity in everyone and commit to do everything we possibly can to uphold that humanity, then everything’s possible,” he said.–News Desk