WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As the bloody battle between Israel and Hamas nears one month, the Biden Administration is frantically pushing for humanitarian pauses to allow more resources inside the Gaza Strip and to prevent a broader war.
Following a diplomatic tour across the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is urging Israeli forces to proceed with caution as they use ground forces to surround Gaza.
“I think we made some good progress in recent days,” Blinken said. “We’ve engaged the Israelis on steps they can take to minimize civilian casualties.”
Right now, Israeli forces are urging remaining civilians to evacuate.
The Hamaz-run health ministry says more than 10,000 Palestinians have already been killed since the war began.
On Monday, the State Department said it’s pushing for humanitarian pauses to allow more aid inside of Gaza. So far, just 476 trucks have been allowed in from Egypt.
“This continues to be a dire humanitarian situation,” Vedant Patel, State Department principal deputy spokesperson, said. “Not at all saying that any of this is enough. Much more is needed.”
The violence sparked global protests over the weekend, including in the U.S. Tens of thousands of pro-Palestine supporters marched outside of the White House demanding a cease-fire.
Both Israel and the Biden Administration say that is not an option until the hostages are freed and Hamas is destroyed. Many lawmakers agree.
“Israel has a right to defend themselves, and we in the Congress stand right behind them,” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said.
But a growing number in Washington are pushing for a de-escalation, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
“We have got to stop the bombing now,” he said.