Deliberate Israeli delays biggest hurdle to swift aid delivery to Gaza: SIS chief

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jan 2024

Egypt’s State Information Service Chairman Diaa Rashwan stated on Sunday that the major hurdle for the swift delivery of aid to Gaza over the past 100 days has been the deliberate delays imposed by Israeli authorities inspecting the aid at border crossings.

Rafah Crossing
File Photo: Trucks of Egyptian Red Crecent carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip cross the Rafah border gate, in Rafah, Egypt. AP


Rashwan emphasized that Egypt's Rafah crossing has never been closed for a moment during the 100-day war or before, noting that Egypt, via several official statements, has called on Israel to cease hindering humanitarian aid under the pretext of inspection delays.

He reiterated Egypt’s steadfast commitment to accelerating the transfer of aid to Gaza to alleviate the unprecedented humanitarian crisis faced by Palestinians.

He explained that Egypt encountered initial challenges at the Rafah crossing, as it was originally designed for the movement of individuals, not cargo. However, he noted, Egypt swiftly overcame this obstacle with intensive technical efforts.

Despite the Israeli military bombing access roads to the crossing from the Palestinian side at least four times, Rashwan stated that Egypt promptly repaired the damaged roads.

Rashwan stated that nearly 9,000 trucks crossed from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing to Gaza during the 100 days of war.

He indicated that private and public Egyptian contributions comprise 82 percent of all aid delivered to Gaza.

Highlighting the substantial aid delivered, Rashwan reported that during the 100 days of the Israeli war on Gaza, 7,000 tons of medical assistance, 50,000 tons of food, and 20,000 tons of water entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

Additionally, 1,000 tents, tarps, and relief materials, along with 11,000 tons of various relief items and 88 new ambulances, were provided. A total of 405,000 tons of fuel and household gas were also delivered.

Rashwan noted that Egypt has received 1,210 patients from Gaza for treatment in Egyptian and friendly countries' hospitals, accompanied by around 1,085 attendants. Moreover, 23,000 individuals, including Palestinians, foreigners, and dual citizens, and 2,623 stranded Egyptians, crossed through the Rafah crossing.

Rashwan’s statements constitute the third official response to Israeli claims at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), contradicting assertions that Egypt, not Israel, is obstructing humanitarian aid entry through the Egyptian side of the Rafah Crossing.

The first response came from Rashwan himself on Friday while the second response came from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid on Sunday, when the latter indicated that Egypt has tirelessly pursued international and regional efforts to facilitate the entry of a substantial amount of aid into Gaza.

As the Israeli war on Gaza reached the 100-day mark, the Palestinian death toll reached 23,843.


Short link: