Where is the ‘humanitarian aid’ for the hostages?

by Ruthie Blum

The world is pressuring Israel about the crisis in Gaza, while ignoring the men, women and children who are being abused and starved in Hamas captivity.

(JNS) The day after President Joe Biden announced that the United States would begin airdrops of humanitarian aid to Gaza, U.S. military planes parachuted pallets of food and water over the beach in the southwest of the Strip.

Biden made this declaration during a joint press briefing on Friday with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who claimed that the “humanitarian crisis [in Gaza] is our No. 1 priority.”

Never mind that Biden twice confused Gaza with Ukraine. Forget that Meloni followed up with an emphasis on the need to “guarantee the two-state perspective.”

The implication of both mental lapses—one literal and the other figurative—was clear: that the onus for the current and future resolution of Hamas’s war against the Jewish state is on Israel.

The timing of the statements was convenient. Dozens of Gazans were left dead on Thursday after descending, mob-like, on an aid-delivery convoy.

The scene provided yet another opportunity for Israel’s enemies and fellow-traveler detractors to believe the Hamas-reported lie that Israel Defense Forces troops opened fire on the hungry crowd.

As it happens, fewer than 10 Gazans—those approaching soldiers in an aggressive and menacing manner—were killed by IDF bullets. The rest lost their lives in the stampede or were run over by the Gazan drivers of the aid trucks under threat from the throng.

Neither Biden nor Meloni went as far as to accuse Israel of murdering the rioters. The U.S. even blocked an attempt on Thursday by Arab states to push through a U.N. Security Council statement blaming Israel for the incident.

But Biden did give Israel an indirect slap on the wrist over it.

“In addition to expanding deliveries by land,” he said, “we’re going to insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need.”

He went on: “No excuses. Because the truth is, aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough. Innocent lives are on the line and children’s lives are on the line and we won’t stand by until we get more aid in there.”

Finally, Biden added, “We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several. I won’t stand by. We won’t let up, and we’re gonna pull out every stop we can to get more assistance in.”

He failed to mention that nearly 15,000 aid trucks have entered Gaza since the start of the war. According to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), only 1.5% were refused entry, on the grounds that they contained forbidden “dual-use” items—those that could be employed for terrorist purposes.

Biden also forgot to point out that Hamas steals most of the goods that make their way into the Strip, hoarding some of the food for its terrorists while selling the rest to noncombatants at exorbitant prices. And it commandeers all the fuel to keep its tunnels operational.

This is in addition to the travesty of international agencies—chief among them UNRWA—being in complete cahoots with Hamas. Obviously, then, getting the supplies to the people for whom they are intended has been challenging, if not downright impossible.

Meanwhile, those of the 134 remaining hostages in Hamas captivity who are still alive have been receiving no assistance of any kind, not even from the International Red Cross. Some require medication for chronic conditions. Others aren’t being treated for serious wounds sustained during the Oct. 7 massacre. But all are subsisting on half a pita per day—malnourished to the point of starving.

The actual number of “innocent civilians” in Gaza is debatable, since even 10-year-olds there have been aiming RPGs at IDF soldiers. There is no question, however, that the hostages being held in physically and sexually abusive conditions in the dungeons of Gaza are guiltless victims of a genocidal onslaught.

Theirs is the plight that the world should be highlighting. Instead, the “humanitarians” are calling on Israel to cease its battle against Hamas.

Biden, Meloni and anyone else whose heart is bleeding over the crisis in Gaza ought to be reminded that this war would end instantly if Hamas were to surrender and free the hostages.

Since that’s not happening, Israel has no choice but to force the release of the hostages through increased military pressure, and ultimately to demolish Hamas. This is the sole acceptable scenario for anyone in his—or her—right mind.

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