21, October 2023
The first of 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the war-torn and besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, said AFP correspondents on both sides.
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was “confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies… to the people of Gaza” and warned that “this first convoy must not be the last”.
The border crossing was closed again after the passage of the trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent which is responsible for delivering the aid, including food and medical supplies from various UN agencies.
Rafah is the only route into Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, which agreed to allow the aid in from Egypt following a request from its top ally the United States.
Israel has been bombing Gaza since Hamas’ bloody surprise attack of October 7 and has also declared a total siege, cutting off most water as well as food, electricity, fuel and other supplies.
Hamas militants stormed into Israel from Gaza and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials.
Since then, more than 4,100 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed in relentless Israeli bombardments, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the aid passage as “an important first step that will alleviate the suffering of innocent people”.
Source: France 24