On Tuesday, during the “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza” Conference in Egypt, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $404 million in aid for Gaza bringing the total to $674 million over eight months as he boasted about the United States being the largest single contributor to aid for Gaza.

But considering that the U.S. is Israel’s largest weapons supplier – weapons used to kill innocent civilians – it’s hard to ignore that it bears much of the responsibility for playing a major role in what causes Palestinian suffering. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres spoke at the conference about the suffering in Egypt reminding the world just how serious the situation has become and how it’s only growing worse by the day.

“It is now 8 months since the horrific Hamas terror attacks of 7 October and the abduction of Israeli men, women, and children to Gaza,” Guterres said. “But 8 months of relentless suffering for Palestinian civilians in Gaza, the speed and scale of the carnage and killing in Gaza is beyond anything in my years as Secretary-General.

“At least 1.7 million people – 75 percent of Gaza’s population – have been displaced, many times over by Israel military attacks,” Guterres continued. “Nowhere is safe.”

The U.S. seems to be walking a fine line when it comes to addressing war crimes including preventing aid from entering Gaza. Not only has the United States allowed Israel to embark on a relentless assault on civilians bringing the delivery of aid down an estimated 95% of what it was before Oct. 7, but remaining silent in the face of gangs of settlers stealing and destroying aid meant to save Palestinian lives has only encouraged more people, including Israeli soldiers, to participate in what constitutes the use of starvation as a weapon – a war crime.

Now, with Gazans more reliant on aid than at any other time in recent history, trucks are trickling in at a pace that can not keep up with the famine that has begun setting in. During Blinken’s speech at the conference on Gaza, he emphasized the importance of convincing Hamas to accept the ceasefire deal currently on the table – which they agreed to in principle days ago.

“When I met Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday in Israel, he reaffirmed his support and his commitment to bringing this proposal across the finish line,” Blinken said. “The same day, yesterday, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution sponsored by the United States in support of the proposal. Fourteen members voted for it. Not one country opposed it. It’s just the latest vote of support the proposal has received from around the world, from virtually everyone around this table, the Arab League, [and] countries throughout the region.

“Today, as we gather, one – and only one – thing stands in the way of this deal happening, and that’s Hamas,’ Blinken continued. “So my primary and first message today to every government, to every multilateral institution, to every humanitarian organization that wants to relieve the massive suffering in Gaza: Get Hamas to take the deal. Press them publicly. Press them privately. And Hamas should not require much convincing.  After all, the proposal is nearly identical to the one Hamas itself proposed on May the 6th.”

Just hours later Hamas agreed to the ceasefire deal and is ready to negotiate details according to Reuters citing Qatari and Egyptian mediators saying they have received a formal reply from the group on the truce deal. Reuters also said Blnken said it was a “hopeful sign” but was still awaiting definitive word is still needed from Hamas leadership in Gaza.

“The Hamas response reaffirmed the group’s stance any agreement must end the Zionist aggression on our people, get the Israeli forces out, reconstruct Gaza, and achieve a serious prisoners swap deal,” a Hamas official told Reuters.

What happens next is anyone’s guess as Western powers along with Israeli leadership have been responsible for torpedoing previous ceasefire attempts several times. If a ceasefire is reached, much more aid will be able to enter Gaza. But with Israel continuing to declare that it will not diverge from its military objective and achieve its war goals, it does not bode well for Palestinian civilians.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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