Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeWorldMiddle EastSecond humanitarian aid convoy enters besieged Gaza Strip

Second humanitarian aid convoy enters besieged Gaza Strip

A second humanitarian aid convoy has arrived in besieged Gaza, a UN spokesman has said.

UN relief coordinator Martin Griffiths reported on X that 14 trucks entered Gaza from the Egyptian side through the Rafah crossing on Sunday. He wrote:

“Another small glimmer of hope for the millions of people in dire need of humanitarian aid,” Griffiths said. But they need more, much more.”

According to the Israeli Office for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, the trucks contained medical equipment, water and food. All of this “was checked by Israeli security officials before being transported to Gaza”. The convoy will bring in about 3 per cent of the average volume of commodities that came into the Gaza up to two weeks ago.

The aid came at the request of US President Joe Biden. Late last week, he was able to get Israel and Egypt to allow aid into the besieged and war-torn Palestinian region. The Rafah crossing is the only entrance to Gaza that is not under Israeli control.

Since the start of the fighting, officials have warned of the need to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza, as Israel had earlier declared an all-out siege on the region, leaving water, food, medicine and fuel either in short supply or depleted. Meanwhile, hundreds of tonnes of supplies were piling up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing.

On Thursday, Joe Biden in Tel Aviv persuaded Israeli authorities not to interfere with the delivery of humanitarian aid and the Egyptian government to open its side of the border to allow 20 trucks into Gaza. When Biden made the announcement, it was unclear whether there would be a second convoy, as Israel has said it would prevent any aid to Gaza until Hamas released all hostages.

On Saturday 20 trucks of aid entered Gaza, the second part arrived on Sunday evening, because Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees, issued a statement saying that in three days Gaza would run out of hospitals and water because it was running out of fuel. Lazzarini said in an urgent call to allow immediately fuel supplies into Gaza:

“Without fuel, aid will not reach those in desperate need. Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance. No fuel will further strangle the children, women and people of Gaza.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Health is calling on those in Gaza who have gas and access to solar panels to donate immediately what they have to hospitals. Without fuel, 140 people on ventilators and 1,100 patients suffering from kidney failure will die.

Despite the second convoy of aid entering on Sunday, Cindy McCain, executive director of the US World Food Program, said the situation in Gaza remained “catastrophic.”

Since 7 October, when Hamas launched a military attack on Israel that killed 1,400 people, Israel has continuously launched airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation, killing 4,651 Palestinians and more. The incessant shelling has forced more than 1 million people to flee the Gaza Strip, where Israel has ordered the evacuation of the northern half of the Strip ahead of a widely anticipated ground invasion.

According to the UN, sanitation facilities, wells, water reservoirs and pumping stations have been damaged by the incessant airstrikes. The international agency estimates that about 100 trucks a day are needed to meet Gaza’s needs.


Most Popular