US, Israel agree on UN ‘assessment mission’ in northern Gaza

The US and Israel agreed, Tuesday, that the UN can carry out “an assessment mission” in northern Gaza to determine what needs to be done so that displaced Palestinians can return home, Anadolu Agency reports.

“It will determine what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return safely to homes in the north,” Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, told reporters during a news conference in Tel Aviv after meeting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Israel Katz and the War Cabinet.

“This is not going to happen overnight. There are serious security, infrastructure and humanitarian challenges, but the mission will start a process that evaluates these obstacles, and how they can be overcome,” said Blinken.

He noted that the US continues to offer its best advice for how Israel can achieve its essential goal of ensuring that 7 October can never be repeated.

“We believe Israel has achieved significant progress toward this fundamental objective as Israel’s campaign moves to a lower intensity phase in northern Gaza, and as the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) scales down its forces there,” he said.

Blinken held a telephone call with UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, late Monday and underscored facilitating assistance to the northern Gaza Strip to enable the return of displaced people.

Blinken is on an official visit to the region until 11 January with stops that include Turkiye, Greece, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.

His tour comes at a time when the Israeli army has waged a devastating war on Gaza since 7 October that has resulted in the killing of at least 23,084 Palestinians and wounding 58,926 others.

Israeli authorities claim that attacks by Hamas in early October have killed around 1,200 Israelis.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.

Related Articles

Back to top button