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This blockade was imposed shortly after Hamas' perpetration of large scale atrocities, killing 1300 Israelis, mostly civilians, on October 7th. However, maintaining a blockade also seems to be running against the Geneva Conventions (which Israel is not a signatory to). Question about asked here.

Guardian - Oct 17

Power is off, clean water is scarce, and the last fuel for hospital emergency generators could expire, leaving Gaza facing a humanitarian crisis.

Or, UNWRA - 14 October 2023

“We need to truck fuel into Gaza now. Fuel is the only way for people to have safe drinking water. If not, people will start dying of severe dehydration, among them young children, the elderly and women. Water is now the last remaining lifeline. I appeal for the siege on humanitarian assistance to be lifted now,” added Lazzarini.

I know a number of NGOs and governments have expressed unease or disapproval at this blockade and called upon Israel to respect the lives of Gaza civilians. But that was then and this is now. A blockade of water and fuel on day 10 is not the same as on day 2.

So, which governments have made a formal request to Israel to let adjust the blockade to let basic civilian necessities through? I am explicitly scoping NGOs out, except for the UN itself (or national requests through the UN), as many NGO's reason for being is pretty much making these kinds of requests. For the same reason, I am mostly interested in Western countries and/or traditional supporters of Israel.

Also out of scope are the wider Israeli military operations in Gaza. Only what diplomatic pressure has officially been put on Israel with regards to this blockade.

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    FWTW, I recently read that Israel has resumed water delivery to one point in southern Gaza, and some fuel too, to power the pump there. But they also disclaimed any end result, saying they don't have "visibility" on the Palestinian side. It's in this giant live update thread edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/… Oct 17, 2023 at 15:46
  • If you have any updates on that, that would be a very valid frameshift answer. I have zero interest in making Israel look bad by this question and if they've changed tack already, excellent news. The more the international community can convince Israel to do the right thing, the more effictively Hamas can be isolated. Oct 17, 2023 at 15:47
  • As for more recent updates a quick search finds businessinsider.com/… but I've not read it yet. Oct 17, 2023 at 15:52
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    I wonder if I am the only one to loathe those new-fangled Live Feed messes? Kids these days. Half the time you can't even find the headline that got you to open them in the first place. Oct 17, 2023 at 15:53
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    Considering that there is also the question of the Egypt border crossing, answers might get mighty complicated: WFP wants to get their goods inside, Egypt claims it can't get Israeli guarantees, foreign governments try to help negotiations...who is now pressuring whom? Point in case: earlier today, Olaf Scholz in a press conference with King Abdullah of Jordan demanded that suplies must reach civilians in the Gaza strip. Currently he is meeting with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, later he will travel on to Cairo to meet Al-Sisi. Who will he pressure?
    – ccprog
    Oct 17, 2023 at 17:03

3 Answers 3

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This one is difficult to answer because most official comments from countries are generally about the whole situation, or are focused the bombing. As such, here's a list of folks who commented directly on either the blockade or the need for a humanitarian corridor (i.e. a way through the blockade).

Ireland

Taoiseach (PM) Leo Varadkar said this

“That’s not the way a respectable, democratic state should conduct itself. I believe by targeting civilians and cutting off civilian infrastructure, that is a breach of international humanitarian law. I think it is very important for us as Ireland to make sure that voice is brought to the table at European Union level.”

Norway

Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said this

The establishment of a full blockade, including on access to electricity, water, food, and other goods that are indispensable for the survival of the civilian population in Gaza, is unacceptable. Israel has an obligation to allow for the entry of humanitarian aid and to ensure access to humanitarian assistance for the civilian population in Gaza.

I should note she was removed from office since that statement, for reasons unrelated to that stance.

Oman

HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said this

His Excellency stressed the need to open humanitarian corridors to ensure that relief and aid reach the Palestinian brothers who are under bombardment, especially in light of the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip.

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    Even China made some comments afaik
    – whoisit
    Oct 17, 2023 at 20:06
  • @whoisit Do you know if they were comments or a formal request? Oct 18, 2023 at 13:05
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Canada

Canada says humanitarian access to Gaza is imperative -PM Trudeau | Reuters

OTTAWA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Canada is deeply concerned by the dire and worsening crisis in Gaza and wants a humanitarian corridor to be opened into the enclave, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

"It is imperative that this happen," Trudeau told the House of Commons lower chamber of parliament. Israel has put Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, under a total blockade and pounded it with unprecedented air strikes.

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I guess one can add the US too now:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the decision was approved after a request from Biden. It said Israel “will not thwart” deliveries of food, water or medicine from Egypt, as long as they are limited to civilians in the south of the Gaza Strip and don’t go to Hamas militants. The statement made no mention of fuel, which is badly needed for hospital generators.

[...] Biden said Egypt’s president agreed to open the crossing and to let in an initial group of 20 trucks with humanitarian aid. If Hamas confiscates aid, “it will end,” he said. The aid will start moving Friday at the earliest, White House officials said.

Although technically this might not qualify as the announcement of the US request was made only after Israel (and Egypt) agreed. If they hadn't, who knows if the US request would have been publicized or not. (I'm not saying that diplomacy behind closed-doors is a bad thing. I'm just not entirely sure the question at hand here encompasses requests of this kind.)

Actually, I'm not entirely correct. There was a preliminary announcement, although a little vague:

The U.S. and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will get humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza — just as conditions for the area's 2.3 million residents deteriorate.

News of a plan to bring aid to the beleaguered region came in the same announcement that President Biden plans to travel to Israel on Wednesday.

OTOH

"It is critical that aid begins flowing into Gaza as soon as possible," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said early Tuesday morning from Israel.

So that could be taken as more clear request-ish kind of statement, although it's not addressed to one particular party.

And Blinken kinda announced it as a success as early last Saturday, although events on the ground didn't quite follow thought till Biden landed in Israel:

"We have put in place, Egypt has put in place a lot of material support for people in Gaza, and Rafah will be reopened," Blinken told reporters in Cairo after what he said was a "very good conversation" with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

"We are putting into place — with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others — the mechanism by which to get the assistance in and to get it to the people who need it," he added.

On Sunday, the United States appointed veteran diplomat David Satterfield as Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues to lead the U.S. response to the Gaza humanitarian crisis.

According to Biden's account:

“I was very blunt with the Israelis,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way back to Washington. Biden said that while Israel “has been badly victimized,” they have “an opportunity to relieve the suffering” of innocent civilians in Gaza “who have nowhere to go.” He added that it’s what the country “should do.”

Biden said the trucks would likely cross on Friday after badly damaged roads near the crossing had been repaired. Dozens more trucks are waiting to follow if the first tranche goes smoothly.

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