In a recent testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged the complex challenge of delivering U.S. aid to Gaza without it falling into the wrong hands. Speaking to lawmakers, he said that possible spillage to Hamas is not impossible.

Telling the committee that the U.S. is working on sending in 100 trucks of humanitarian aid to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip this week, he stated, “Can I promise you in this committee that there’ll be 100 percent delivery to the designated recipients? No, there will inevitably be some spillage.” 

“We haven’t seen it to date, but I think we have to anticipate that. But the overwhelming, overwhelming majority of the assistance thus far is getting to people who need it. And we need more,” he added.

Speaking about where the U.S. is with its humanitarian efforts toward Gaza, Blinken said, “Before the conflict in Gaza, before Hamas’ aggression against Israel and its response, the U.N. and other agencies and other organizations providing relief were sending in between 500 and 800 hundred trucks a day. Right now, we’re up to almost 60. We’re trying to get to 100 this week.” 

Responding to concerns that the aid might end up going to Hamas terrorists, Blinken explained that the Biden administration has collaborated with Israel, Egypt, and U.N. agencies to establish a system to ensure aid reaches Palestinian civilians rather than Hamas. According to him, this system involves shipments passing through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, where they are inspected by both Egyptian forces and the Israeli military.

“These trucks then go to distribution facilities run by U.N. agencies,” he explained.

“The supplies are then taken from those agencies to various points to hospitals to bakeries, because bread is critical and to other end points throughout this process, we have an ability and others have an ability to track where the assistance is going. We’re then able to do monitoring on the other end by contacting the designated recipients to ensure that it’s actually gotten to where it’s supposed to go and not been diverted,” he added.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post this week, Blinken argued that providing aid to Palestinians is essential, emphasizing that it is on par with defending Israel. He urged Congress not to split aid to Gaza and Israel from other spending demands, emphasizing the need for “unwavering resolve in standing with our allies and partners, standing up to autocrats and terrorists, and standing for an international order that safeguards America’s interests and values.”

Blinken warned against cutting humanitarian assistance to Gaza, stating that it would deepen the suffering of millions of Palestinian civilians, including vulnerable populations unrelated to Hamas’s actions.