U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that humanitarian aid trucks lined up in Egypt have begun to make their way across the Gaza border, which should offer some limited relief for the city’s population of 2.3 million that have been choked off since the Hamas attack earlier this month.
“A convoy carrying much-needed humanitarian assistance crossed the Rafah border this morning into Gaza to address the growing humanitarian crisis. We thank our partners in Egypt and Israel, and the United Nations, for facilitating the safe passage of these life-saving shipments,” Blinken posted on X.
About 2.3 million Gazans need critical aid that has been prevented by Israel from entering. Israel has eliminated deliveries of power, fuel, and other goods and has severely limited water supplies, the Financial Times reported. About one million fled from their homes and have been displaced inside the city because the borders are closed.
The BBC reported that trucks seen carrying aid, and one loaded with coffins, entered Gaza for the first time on Saturday. A reporter from the network said he counted 20 vehicles entering through the Rafah crossing, but the UN called the shipment a “drop in the ocean” of what’s needed.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, said there is growing concern in Israel that Hamas could use fuel shipments for nefarious means and help manufacture weapons. But humanitarian workers call the aid essential.
“I know that fuel is a riskier item because it can be used in a number of different ways, but without fuel we won’t have the hospitals running, desalination plants won’t run, hygiene will continue to suffer, and, of course, for the trucks that have to deliver the aid,” Lynn Hastings, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told NPR.
The collective punishment is Israel’s response to the 7 October attack by Hamas that killed more than 1,400 in Israel. Gazans have been packed into hospitals and UN-operated schools that have also been pounded in airstrikes.
TRENDPOST: President Biden issued a statement on Saturday thanking Israel and Egypt for allowing the aid to enter the city and said the U.S. will “continue to work with all parties to keep the Rafah crossing in operation to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza.”
Well, isn’t that nice of Israel? (See “FOX NEWS HOST SUGGESTS THAT ISRAEL MAY GO NUCLEAR IF IT FACES MULTI-FRONT WAR” 17 Oct 2023, “GRAHAM CALLS ISRAEL WAR A ‘RELIGIOUS WAR’. SO GET READY TO FIGHT FOR THE RELIGION HE BELIEVES IN” 17 Oct 2023, and “U.S. CAN SUPPORT ISRAEL, UKRAINE AT SAME TIME, SAYS U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY” 17 Oct 2023.)
After decades of running Gaza like an open-air prison and bombing the city with more bombs than the U.S. used in seven years in Afghanistan, they’ve agreed to allow a token shipment of supplies into Gaza.
An Israeli security official told The Times of Israel that there seems to be no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“There are hardships in moving people within days to the south of the Gaza Strip, but the population is getting along,” he said. “There is no shortage of water in Gaza, there is enough food for the coming weeks, this is in addition to the supply of medicines which, as far as we know, there is no shortage in the hospitals.”