US President Joe Biden (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (French-File)
The US administration called on Israel not to repeat what it did in the northern Gaza Strip - displacing civilians and targeting infrastructure - in the southern Gaza Strip, and announced the dispatch of 3 military planes loaded with humanitarian aid.
US officials said in a conference call that the United States communicated this message to Israel through several levels, up to US President Joe Biden, according to Reuters.
"We stressed this in very clear language with the government of Israel. "It is very important that when the Israeli campaign moves to the south, it does not lead to further major displacements of the population."
"The scale of displacement that occurred in the north cannot be repeated in the south. It would be more than chaotic, beyond the capacity of any humanitarian support system. It can't happen."
He added that the Israeli offensive must avoid targeting infrastructure, such as power and water plants, humanitarian sites and hospitals, in the south and center of the Gaza Strip.
He said the Israelis had accepted the need for a different kind of campaign in the south, as he described it.
At the same time, another U.S. official stated that Washington wants to extend the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip for as long as possible.
Since last Friday morning, the Gaza Strip has been witnessing a temporary humanitarian truce that lasted 4 days, and announced its extension for two additional days, including a prisoner exchange between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel under the mediation of the State of Qatar in coordination with Egypt and the United States.
Palestinians displaced from northern to southern Gaza amid widespread destruction (Reuters)
Regarding relief efforts, the official said that three US military planes carrying essential humanitarian aid to Gaza landed in North Sinai on Tuesday, and two more planes are scheduled to arrive in the coming days.
The planes are transporting medical supplies, food aid and winter supplies that the United Nations will deliver to Gaza.
U.S. officials said 240 trucks were transporting aid to Gaza every day, but that was not enough to meet needs there.
They added that there is a need to shift to a system that allows up to 400 trucks to enter per day, and noted that the US side is discussing this matter with Israel.
"To provide these quantities of aid, increased and tighter inspection procedures will be required, and commercial contracts from inside Gaza to receive trucks coming from Egypt," one official said.
"We hope that after the end of this truce, there will be a second phase of the humanitarian programme," he said.
Since the Palestinian resistance launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on the seventh of last October, Israel has waged a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that has left tens of thousands of martyrs and wounded civilians, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, according to official Palestinian and UN sources.
Source : Al Jazeera + Agencies