Israel-Hamas: Gaza Aid Trucks Stranded As War Resumes

0 455

Aid was stranded near Egypt’s border with Gaza as Israel resumed its military campaign on Friday, with truck drivers saying they expected further delays to a complex delivery process that had briefly speeded up during a weeklong truce.

“The bombardment has been going on since seven in the morning. There are planes and artillery and we haven’t moved,” said driver Saleh Ebada, who had already been waiting to enter the crossing for inspection for eight days when fighting restarted.

Egyptian security sources and a Red Crescent official said aid and fuel trucks had stopped entering from Egypt.

UN officials described the resumption of fighting as “catastrophic” and said the continuation of aid delivery was in doubt.

A Spokesperson for the Rafah border crossing confirmed that the entrance of trucks carrying much-needed aid, fuel and cooking gas from Egypt into the Gaza Strip had stopped because of the resumption of the Israeli bombardment.

Rafah has been the only entry point for aid going into Gaza since Israel began besieging and bombarding the coastal territory in retaliation for a lethal October 7 incursion and the capture of hostages by the Palestinian armed group Hamas.

Ashraf al-Qudra, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, appealed to “every living conscience” to allow the opening of the Rafah crossing amid an “extremely catastrophic” humanitarian crisis.

“The medical aid that entered Gaza during the truce is only enough for one day,” al-Qudra said in a statement. “The health sector in Gaza is out of service in every sense of the word,” he said.

His comment came as Israeli air attacks killed at least 109 people and wounded hundreds, according to Palestinian officials. Medics are struggling to help patients who are piling up on hospital floors amid a shortage of beds.

More than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, Palestinian officials say. In Israel, the official death toll from the October 7 attack stands at about 1,200.

International flights have been landing at El Arish airport in Sinai to deliver cargoes of aid. Convoys of trucks have also been bringing aid from Cairo.

However, under a system in place since October 21, aid trucks had to drive for inspection to the Al-Awja and Nitzana crossing on Egypt’s border with Israel before returning to Rafah to deliver their cargoes, a round trip of more than 80km (50 miles) that aid workers and Egyptian officials say caused bottlenecks.