Israel-Gaza war: aid trucks enter Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid started to enter the besieged Gaza Strip from Egypt on Saturday, the first delivery of relief goods since the start of the war.

The lorries were among hundreds of vehicles waiting for days on the Egyptian side of the border to enter the Palestinian coastal enclave that has been under Israeli bombardment since the deadly October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

Footage showed the convoy of 20 trucks entering from Egypt, following a week of diplomatic wrangling involving the US, Egypt, Israel and the UN.

Dozens of activists were seen shouting for joy as the trucks started to move.

The Rafah border crossing, the focus of efforts to deliver aid to Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, closed quickly after the vehicles entered Gaza, CNN reported. The crossing is the only one into the enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

Israel had imposed a total blockade and launched air strikes on Gaza in response to the Hamas attack.

More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid had been positioned near the crossing for days. But Egypt’s state-owned Al-Qahera news, which is close to security agencies, said just 20 trucks crossed into Gaza on Saturday.

Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, had said a relief aid convoy of 20 trucks would enter on Saturday, carrying medicine, medical supplies and a limited amount of food and canned goods.

Israel agreed to allow around 20 trucks carrying food, water and medicine, but no fuel, into Gaza through the crossing from Egypt, the BBC reported.


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The UN has repeatedly warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, where food has been running out and supplies of fuel needed to keep hospital backup generators running have reached dangerously low levels.

The first convoy “must not be the last”, said UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffith on Saturday, as the aid trucks entered the war-torn enclave.

“I am confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies … to the people of Gaza,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the border on Friday in a push to get the aid in, saying a mechanism for its inspection, demanded by Israel, was still being worked out.

Palestinians, who fled their homes amid Israeli strikes, take shelter in a UN-run school after Israel’s call for over one million civilians in northern Gaza to move south, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: Reuters

Many of Gaza’s residents have crammed into the south of the tiny enclave to avoid air strikes in the north.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly welcomed the first aid deliveries, but said Saturday’s convoy must be followed by more in the days to come.

“This aid is a lifeline for those suffering. But it cannot be a one off,” Cleverly wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Reporting by Reuters, Agence France-Presse, dpa, Associated Press

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