Egypt now using Karm Abu Salem crossing to speed up delivery of aid to Gaza: SIS head

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Dec 2023

Egypt started Tuesday to use the Karm Abu Salem border crossing for processing aid to speed up its delivery to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Kerem Shalom crossing
File Photo: The Karm Abu Salem crossing with Israel in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. AFP


“Since yesterday, the passage of humanitarian and relief aid trucks -- [awaiting in] Egypt -- can now be processed at the Karm Abu Salem border crossing with Gaza/Israel on their way to be delivered through the Rafah border crossing to the strip under an agreement made with the Israeli side,” Diaa Rashwan, Head of the Egyptian State Information Service, stated on Wednesday.

Rashwan also stressed that the now-open Karm Abu Salem crossing would serve as a second point, alongside the Al-Ouga crossing, for delivering aid to Gaza, as 2.4 million Palestinians face near-starvation conditions after two months of Israeli brutal airstrikes and an all-out blockade on most water, food, and fuel supplies to the strip. 

Before the recent agreement between Egypt and Israel, aid convoys to Gaza had to be inspected at the Israeli Nitsana crossing, opposite the Egyptian Al-Ouga crossing, before they returned to the Rafah border crossing, where they were finally allowed entry into Gaza.

In doing so, the convoys travelled nearly 100 km back and forth before entering Gaza.

Israel has been under increasing pressure from the international community to open the Karm Abu Salem crossing, located on the border between Israel, Gaza, and Egypt, and only about 3 km from Rafah.

Rashwan said the opening of the Karm Abu Salem would accelerate the arrival of trucks to Gaza and increase their numbers to around 60-80 trucks per day.

The SIS head also added that as per the agreement with the Israeli side, fuel entering the strip will increase from 129,000 litres to 189,000 litres daily. In addition, the strip will be provided with two domestic gas trucks.

Egypt, Rashwan added, is making enormous efforts to ensure the sustained entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Palestinians due to the bloody Israeli aggression that has lasted 68 days.

He reaffirmed that Egypt has, to date, delivered 40,57 trucks to embattled Gaza, carrying 3,866 tons of medical supplies, 22,799 tons of foodstuff, 13,936 tons of water, 2,678 tons of fuel, and 5,073 tons of other relief supplies.

Egypt has also received 773 injured and sick Gazans for treatment in either local hospitals or other countries, noted Rashwan.

Furthermore, Egypt allowed 14,023 foreigners and 2,135 Egyptians stranded in the strip to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, the SIS head pointed out.

Since the start of the war, Egypt has called on the international community to pressure Israel to keep the Rafah border crossing to Gaza open permanently to deliver aid to the strip.

Short link: