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Vice President Kamala Harris urges aid for Gaza during her Selma remarks

On Sunday Vice President Kamala Harris (D) addressed the crowd at the annual commemoration of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma. The first topic that the Vice President chose to address is sending aid to the people of Gaza who have fighting Israel since October.

VP Harris began by saying that it is a privilege to be back in Selma addressing the people and dignitaries there.

"So, it is so good to be back in Selma, and I want to say on behalf of the Second Gentleman and me, it is a privilege to be with so many extraordinary leaders - members of Congress, members of our administration, dedicated activists, and dear friends," Harris began.

She quickly turned her attention to the developing situation in Gaza.

"So, before I begin today, I must address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," Harris said. "What we are seeing every day in Gaza is devastating. We have seen reports of families eating leaves or animal feed, women giving birth to malnourished babies with little or no medical care, and children dying from malnutrition and dehydration."

"As I have said many times, too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. And just a few days ago, we saw hungry, desperate people approach aid trucks, simply trying to secure food for their families after weeks of nearly no aid reaching Northern Gaza," Harris continued. "And they were met with gunfire and chaos."

"Our hearts break for the victims of that horrific tragedy and for all the innocent people in Gaza who are suffering from what is clearly a humanitarian catastrophe," said Harris. "People in Gaza are starving. The conditions are inhumane. And our common humanity compels us to act.

"As President Joe Biden said on Friday, the United States is committed to urgently get more lifesaving assistance to innocent Palestinians in need," Harris said. "Yesterday, the Department of Defense carried out its first airdrop of humanitarian assistance, and the United States will continue these airdrops. And we will work on a new route by sea to deliver aid."

The Biden administration initially supported Israel's offensive against Hamas terrorists who attacked Israeli civilians in October in an unprovoked attack. The Biden Administration has gotten increasingly frustrated with the Israeli government as their campaign against Hamas has produced high collateral damage in Hamas controlled Gaza City.

"And the Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid," Harris claimed. "No excuses. They must open new border crossings. They must not impose any unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid. They must ensure humanitarian personnel, sites, and convoys are not targeted. And they must work to restore basic services and promote order in Gaza so more food, water, and fuel can reach those in need."

Harris reaffirmed the administration's position that Israel has a right of self-defense.

"As I have said repeatedly since October 7th, Israel has a right to defend itself," Harris said. "And President Joe Biden and I are unwavering in our commitment to Israel's security. Hamas cannot control Gaza, and the threat Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that has vowed to repeat October 7th again and again until Israel is annihilated. Hamas has shown no regard for innocent life, including for the people of Gaza, who have suffered under its rule for almost two decades. And Hamas still holds dozens of hostages, for nearly 150 days now - innocent men and women, including American citizens, who were brutally taken from their homes and from a concert."

The Biden administration has asked Congress for a military aid package for both Israel and Ukraine. The administration however is calling for a ceasefire in the hostilities.

"I will repeat: The threat of - Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated," Harris stated. "And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table. This will get the hostages out and get a significant amount of aid in. This would allow us to build something more enduring to ensure Israel is more secure and to respect the right of the Palestinian people to dignity, freedom, and self-determination. Hamas claims it wants a ceasefire. Well, there is a deal on the table. And as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal. Let's get a ceasefire. Let's reunite the hostages with their families. And let's provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza."

On Saturday a senior Biden administration official briefed the press corps on the Gaza response.

"We have been working on collectively, at the highest levels of the U.S. government, since well before this incident occurred," the administration told reporters. "Really, since the beginning of the conflict, the United States has been leading efforts to get lifesaving humanitarian aid into Gaza to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinians who have nothing to do with Hamas. For example, President Biden pushed relentlessly and made significant progress in terms of humanitarian access in Gaza, engaging personally to get an agreement from the leaders of Israel and Egypt to cooperate on the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians into Gaza."

"We, as the United States, have been the largest provider of aid to the Gaza response," the administration continued. "And thus far, we've provided $180 million since October 7th. And this has been responding to the humanitarian crisis and the needs of the Palestinian people, which has really been priority for us since day one, since the conflict began."

"The aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere near enough and nowhere near fast enough," the administration admitted. "Yesterday, President Biden announced that we would carry out airdrops of aid into Gaza."

"Today, as the Central Command just put out, the Department of Defense and the Royal Jordanian Air Force conducted a combined humanitarian assistance airdrop into Gaza between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m." the administration briefed reporters. "Our C-130s dropped 38,000 meals along the coastline of Gaza, allowing for civilian access to the critical assistance. And those locations were chosen specifically as areas where we thought people would be able to best access the aid."

The aid airdrops are expected to continue even if a ceasefire is actually negotiated.

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