Immediate Gaza Ceasefire Demanded by US Vice President

US Vice President Kamala Harris has made an urgent plea for the adoption of a six-week ceasefire agreement in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, while also voicing criticism over Israel’s handling of aid distribution to Gaza. During a speech in Selma, Alabama, Harris emphasized the critical need for an immediate halt in hostilities, citing the grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza as the impetus for her call.

Harris’s remarks represent the most forthright position taken by any member of the current US administration regarding Israel’s role in the conflict, as President Joe Biden faces growing scrutiny over his stance on Israel amid escalating civilian casualties in Gaza. A senior US official disclosed that Israel had tentatively accepted the ceasefire proposal, which hinges on Hamas releasing particularly vulnerable hostages in exchange for a pause in the fighting and a substantial increase in aid to Gaza.

Harris stressed the importance of both parties agreeing to the ceasefire to facilitate the release of hostages and the significant influx of humanitarian aid into Gaza. She directly addressed Hamas’s claims of wanting a ceasefire, stating that a viable agreement is available and urging Hamas to consent to it. According to the Israeli military, 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza, with 31 presumed deceased.


Harris also criticized the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for not doing enough to enhance aid delivery to Gaza. She demanded more action from Israel to open new border crossings and avoid imposing unnecessary restrictions on aid, underscoring the dire need for humanitarian assistance in the region.

Echoing Harris’s sentiments, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken advocated for an increased flow of aid into Gaza through various means, including airdrops, to alleviate the severe humanitarian conditions. This initiative began on Saturday, aiming to provide the people of Gaza with essential supplies such as food and water.

Harris’s upcoming meeting with Benny Gantz, a key figure in Israel’s war Cabinet, in Washington is part of ongoing efforts to engage with Israeli officials regarding the Gaza conflict and post-war planning. Gantz, a prominent opponent of Netanyahu, is also scheduled to meet with other senior US officials.

In her speech, Harris lamented the tragic loss of innocent Palestinian lives, particularly highlighting a recent incident where individuals attempting to access food from an aid convoy in northern Gaza faced gunfire and turmoil. She expressed deep sorrow for the victims of this “horrific tragedy” and reiterated the need to address the threat Hamas poses to Israeli civilians.

Harris delivered these remarks at a historically significant location, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, drawing a parallel between the struggle for civil rights in the US and the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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