Humanitarian aid, fuel trucks enter Gaza as Rafah crossing reopens on Sunday

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Oct 2023

17 trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossed the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on Sunday shortly after 2 p.m. as the border crossing opened for the second time in as many days, according to Al-Qahera News channel.

Gaza
A man guides an aid truck as it crosses back into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on October 21, 2023. AFP

 

17 trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossed the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on Sunday shortly after 2 p.m. as the border crossing opened for the second time in as many days, according to Al-Qahera News channel.

Meanwhile, six trucks with fuel to power generations at two hospitals crossed from Egypt for the first time since the war erupted in the enclave, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and an Egyptian source told AFP.

Ahram Online could not confirm whether the six fuel trucks are part of the 17 trucks or additional ones.

On Saturday, 20 trucks carrying food and medical supplies crossed into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to 2.3 million Palestinians who have been under a complete Israeli blockade - food, water, and fuel - for two weeks.

This was made possible after an agreement was reached between Egypt, Israel, and the US that allowed for the opening of the crossing for the first time since the war between Hamas and Israel started on 7 October.

Despite this positive step, a significant backlog of hundreds of trucks, sourced from various local and international channels, remains queued on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, awaiting the necessary authorization to proceed to Gaza.

According to remarks by UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths to CNN, the strip is in need of a substantial amount of humanitarian aid, at least a hundred trucks per day. He also stressed the importance of ensuring the sustainability of these shipments.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that the entry of the 20 trucks on Saturday into the blockaded strip represents only three percent of the typical daily influx of health and humanitarian supplies, which used to exceed 600 trucks per day before the Israeli war on Gaza.

It has not been confirmed whether the 17 trucks included fuel or not, as Gaza has been facing continued Israeli prevention of fuel, which is necessary for hospital operations, ambulance services, and water generation.

In TV remarks to Al-Arabiya, the media spokesperson of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) stated that the PRC had consumed all the fuel allocated for ambulances, and now they are resorting to the strategic reserves of Al-Quds Hospital, which is also running low.

“We urge the international community and organizations to include fuel in humanitarian aid trucks to ensure the continued operation of hospitals,” she added.

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has rejected as “unacceptable” any attempts to misrepresent Egypt’s position on the Rafah crossing, asserting that the crossing has never been officially closed by Egypt, but it is not functioning normally after being targeted by Israel four times.

Israel has "unfortunately" not allowed the opening of the Rafah crossing on the Gaza side, Shoukry said adding that it was "preventing aid from entering Gaza.”

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