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Gaza aid blocked by Israeli protesters for fourth time

January 29, 2024 at 12:15 pm

Israeli protesters wave national flags and hold placards during a demonstration aimed at blocking aid trucks from entering the Palestinian territory, on the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the southern Gaza Strip on January 29, 2024 [Menahem Kahana / AFP]

Israeli protesters, including family members of captives held in the besieged Gaza Strip, closed the Karam Abu Salem crossing on Sunday, preventing humanitarian aid trucks from entering Gaza for the fourth time. The protesters demand that all of the captives should be released before any aid is be allowed to enter the enclave.

Eventually, individual trucks were able to enter the sector for the first time since Wednesday. The delivery came after the Biden administration told Israel that, “The Karam Abu Salem crossing must operate as usual,” and that humanitarian aid must enter Gaza without any obstacles.

On Saturday, though, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a press conference in the defence ministry that, “Without the minimum amount of humanitarian aid [entering Gaza], we will not be able to complete the mission and the objectives of the war.”

Since 7 October, the Israeli army has killed 26,422 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them children and women, and wounded almost 66,000 others. Eight-five per cent of the population in the territory has been displaced, almost two million people, according to the Palestinian authorities and international organisations. There are severe shortages of food, fresh water and medicines because of the Israeli blockade, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe for the Palestinians in Gaza.

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