Hamas on Thursday called for mass protests throughout Israel, the Muslim world and across the globe to demand the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
“We call on our people throughout the homeland and outside, and on all the members of the Arab and Islamic nation, and the free people of the world, to intensify the popular mobilization in the coming days, and to demonstrate actively on Friday and Sunday under the slogans ‘Open the Rafah crossing’ and ‘Stop the genocidal war on Gaza,’” according to a statement from the Palestinian terror group.
On Tuesday, asked when leaving a White House event if the Hamas-ruled enclave was being replenished sufficiently, U.S. President Joe Biden responded: “Not fast enough.”
Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel should consider “humanitarian pauses” in the war against Hamas to enable goods to enter Gaza.
E.U. leaders were set on Thursday to debate calling for such a pause.
During the U.S. State Department’s press briefing on Monday, spokesman Matthew Miller was asked whether Washington would support such a call.
“Whether you call it a pause or whether you call it a ceasefire, you have to think about what that would mean in this context, when Israel has suffered this terrorist attack and Israel continues to suffer ongoing terrorist attacks,” he said.
“There are rockets, as I said a moment ago, that continue to be launched from Gaza targeting Israel. Any ceasefire would give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel,” added Miller. “You can understand perfectly clearly why that’s an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack and continues to see the terrorist threat right on its border.”
Goods began crossing into the Gaza Strip via Egypt on Saturday for the first time since Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel. An official with the International Red Cross said on Thursday the organization was set to deliver 8-10 trucks of medical supplies to Gaza. Overall, some 60 trucks carrying goods have crossed into Gaza since the war started.
“We urge all parties to keep the Rafah crossing open to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza,” Blinken said on Saturday. “We have been clear: Hamas must not interfere with the provision of this life-saving assistance. Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas’s horrific terrorism, and they should not be made to suffer for its depraved acts,” he added.
Israel imposed a siege on Gaza following Hamas’s massacre but changed tack due to pressure from the United States and other countries.
Critics have argued that allowing “humanitarian aid” into Gaza will have devastating implications for Israel.