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Egypt ‘pushing to accelerate aid delivery to Gaza’

December 7, 2023 at 1:39 pm

About 200 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, cooking gas and fuel enter the Gaza Strip during the humanitarian pause between Israel and Hamas in Gaza City, Gaza on November 28, 2023. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Egypt is striving to accelerate the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, a senior official said on Thursday. The announcement comes after the amount of relief getting through to the Palestinian enclave dipped with the end of the Israel-Palestinian truce last Friday, Reuters has reported.

Since the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza began on 7 October, the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt has been the only entry point for aid trucks carrying desperately-needed supplies of food, medicines, water and fuel.

The number of trucks crossing daily has dropped in recent days to fewer than 100, from nearly 200 when the week-long truce was in place. On Wednesday, only 80 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, according to the UN.

Egypt and the UN have been lobbying Israel to speed up the inspection process for aid trucks that requires the vehicles to drive to Egypt’s border with Israel before looping back to Rafah. Up to 500 trucks a day used to enter the Gaza Strip before Israel tightened the 16-year siege of the territory in October.

Moreover, according to Diaa Rashwan, the head of the State Information Service, Egypt would never allow the emptying of the Gaza Strip of its Palestinian residents as Israel’s military campaign pushes them southwards towards the border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Rashwan added that Egypt believes that Israel’s operations in the occupied West Bank are intended to force Palestinians towards Jordan.

READ: Displaced Gazans cram into Rafah despite fears of attack