The Israeli government’s order for the evacuation of all residents in north Gaza has sparked concern among humanitarian observers. In response to this order, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden on Saturday, during which Abbas firmly rejected the removal of Gaza’s inhabitants from their land. The statement issued by Abbas’ office confirmed this stance.
During the phone call, Biden expressed his commitment to support the Palestinian Authority’s efforts in providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza. The White House summary of the call also mentioned that the US administration has been working alongside the UN, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to ensure that humanitarian supplies reach the civilians in Gaza. However, it is important to note that Israel has stated that it will not allow electricity, water, or food to enter Gaza until the hostages taken by Hamas are returned.
Abbas also conveyed his opposition to the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman. He cautioned Blinken that complying with Israel’s evacuation order for north Gaza would lead to a “second Nakba,” referring to the forced displacement of Palestinians by Israel between 1947 and 1948, known as the Nakba.
In a separate phone call on Saturday, Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and assured him of further material support to the Israel Defense Forces. He emphasized the need for unity and determination to achieve Israel’s combat goals. Netanyahu expressed gratitude for the support from the US.
The US has consistently pledged its support for Israel’s extensive retaliation against Hamas’ attack last weekend, which resulted in the deaths of 1,800 Israelis. As a consequence of the Israeli bombing campaign, the most severe in Gaza’s history, over 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 430,000 people have been displaced from the densely populated territory.
The Israeli order for the evacuation of the 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza has faced criticism from the UN and other international human rights observers who argue that it amounts to aggravated ethnic cleansing. However, the US and many European allies maintain that Israel’s actions are justified self-defense.
The situation in Gaza remains highly volatile, with escalating tensions and a dire humanitarian crisis. The international community continues to closely monitor and respond to the evolving developments, emphasizing the urgent need for a ceasefire and a comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.