Biden says he thinks aid trucks will get through to Gaza within 2 days

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US President Joe Biden on Friday said he believed that trucks carrying aid will get through to Gaza in the next 24-48 hours, as he met with leaders from the European Union at the White House to discuss the war in the Middle East.

Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people, mainly civilians. Since then Israel has bombed Gaza with air strikes. At least 4,137 Palestinians have been killed, including hundreds of children, in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

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Asked about aid trucks getting through to Gaza, Biden said he had a commitment from the Israelis and the president of Egypt.

The “highway had to be repaved,” Biden said. He said he believed that over the next 24-48 hours the first 20 trucks with aid would get through.

International attention has focused on getting aid to Gaza through the one access point not controlled by Israel, the Rafah crossing to Egypt. Biden, who visited Israel on Wednesday, emerged with a promise from Israel to allow limited shipments from Egypt, provided the aid is monitored to prevent any from reaching Hamas.

Rafah was out of operation for nearly two weeks since Hamas attacked Israel.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, a 45-km-long (25-mile) enclave, in retaliation for the Hamas attack has worsened conditions for the 2.3 million people living there under a blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas took control in 2007.

Diplomatic activity around the opening of the Rafah crossing has intensified, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently receiving the top US general overseeing troops in the Middle East as well as King Abdullah of Jordan, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling in Cairo for aid to be delivered at scale and on a sustained basis.

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