Israel blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza from Egypt as it strikes Rafah crossing on Palestinian side

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Oct 2023

Israel's strikes on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing, the only crossing between the strip and Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula, have rendered the delivery of humanitarian aid to the 2.3 million residents in Gaza impossible.

Rafah
Smoke billows from the Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt during an Israeli airstrike on October 10, 2023. AFP

 

Palestinian sources at the Rafah crossing told Ahram Online that the Israeli forces bombed the road to the crossing twice, the latest of which was on Tuesday morning.

"After the initial [Monday's] bombardment, maintenance teams were repairing the road, but Israeli forces subsequently bombed it again, necessitating the evacuation of all working teams at the crossing," the sources said.

Meanwhile, Israeli media outlet N12 reported that Israel informed Egypt that it would strike any aid trucks entering Gaza via Rafah.

Subsequently, according to the Israeli media outlet, Egyptian fuel trucks that were supposed to enter the Gaza Strip withdrew from Rafah crossing.

Israel has imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip since Monday, cutting off food, water and electricity, worsening the already dire humanitarian situation.

The UN and other aid agencies were discussing with Egypt sending humanitarian aid to Gaza through the Rafah crossing, an Egyptian official and aid worker said Tuesday.

They said Egyptian authorities contacted Israel and the United States to secure humanitarian corridors in Gaza amid Israel’s unrelenting bombardment of the strip.

Israel announced a “state of war” on Saturday and has been striking Gaza since then after Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on Israeli cities, killing around 900 Israelis so far and taking others as hostages.

On the other hand, 830 Palestinians, including 140 children and 105 women, were killed by Israeli bombings by Monday evening, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson.

The bombings left 4250 injured, according to the Palestinian health ministry as reported by Sky News Arabia.

Moreover, Israeli bombardments destroyed hundreds of housing units and demolished whole neighbourhoods, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians homeless,

Earlier Tuesday, Egyptian security sources warned of the resurgence of a frequently proposed Israeli scheme to resettle Gazans in Sinai, stressing that Egypt will reject such “historically and politically corrupt” proposals.

This came shortly after Reuters quoted an Israeli military spokesman advising Palestinians fleeing Israeli air strikes in Gaza to head to Egypt.

“Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to get out,” said Richard Hecht, chief military spokesperson.

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