In his State of the Union speech, Biden urges Israel to ‘do its part’ to increase aid to Gaza.

President Biden in his State of the Union address on Thursday night defended U.S. efforts to increase the amount of aid reaching Gaza, while imploring Israel to “do its part” and not use humanitarian assistance as a bargaining chip.

He outlined the U.S. military plan announced earlier in the day to build a floating pier near Gaza’s Mediterranean coast to supply food, water, medicine and other necessities to the enclave’s civilians, saying the operation would “enable a massive increase” in the assistance entering the territory.

American officials have said that they “worked closely” with Israel to develop the initiative, which would make the United States more directly involved in delivering aid, but did not specify whether Israel would provide direct support for the operation. The Biden administration has been accused by critics of not doing enough to rein in Israel’s attacks and for moving too slowly to address the suffering in Gaza.

“Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the crossfire,” Mr. Biden said, to applause. “Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority.”


Tonight, I’m directing the U.S. military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the coast of Gaza that can receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters. No U.S. boots will be on the ground. A temporary pier will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day. To the leadership of Israel, I say this: Humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority. As we look to the future, the only real solution to the situation is a two-state solution over time.

Aid groups and international organizations have been sounding the alarm on the catastrophic levels of hunger and near-famine conditions afflicting Gaza’s 2.2 million people five months after Israel launched its war in Gaza. The number of aid convoys entering the territory has remained far below prewar levels and humanitarian organizations say much more aid is needed to meet staggering needs throughout the enclave.

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