First Trucks carrying humanitarian aid cross into Gaza

Conditions have grown more dire each day, with hospitals on the verge of collapse and Gazans fast running out of food, water and other critical supplies amid near-constant bombardment by Israel.

CNN reports, “The first trucks carrying aid entered Gaza on Saturday, but international leaders have warned that much more is needed to combat the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the enclave that holds more than 2 million people.

The admission of trucks comes two weeks after Israel launched a complete siege of the enclave in response to deadly attacks by the Islamist militant group Hamas. The trucks entered through the Rafah crossing, the only entry point to Gaza not controlled by Israel, as seen by CNN’s team on the Palestinian side of the border. The crossing closed quickly after the 20 trucks went through.”

This from the State Department issued today:

The United States welcomes the delivery of a 20-truck convoy carrying much needed humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza, the first since Hamas’s horrific October 7 terrorist attack on Israel. We thank our partners in Egypt and Israel, and the United Nations, for facilitating the safe passage of these shipments through the Rafah border crossing. With this convoy, the international community is beginning to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that has left residents of Gaza without access to sufficient food, water, medical care, and safe shelter. The opening of this essential supply route was the result of days of exhaustive U.S. diplomatic engagement in the region and an understanding President Biden reached with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his recent historic visit to Israel. Since that visit, Special Envoy David Satterfield has worked with the governments of Israel and Egypt, as well as the United Nations, to oversee its implementation.

We urge all parties to keep the Rafah crossing open to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza. We have been clear: Hamas must not interfere with the provision of this life-saving assistance. Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas’s horrific terrorism, and they should not be made to suffer for its depraved acts. As President Biden stated, if Hamas steals or diverts this assistance it will have demonstrated once again that it has no regard for the welfare of the Palestinian people and as a practical matter it will hinder the international community from being able to provide this aid. Civilian lives must be protected, and assistance must urgently reach those in need. We will continue to work closely with partners in the region to stress the importance of adhering to the law of war, supporting those who are trying to get to safety or provide assistance, and facilitating access to food, water, medical care, and shelter for citizens wherever they are located in Gaza.

We continue to work urgently in partnership with Egypt and Israel to facilitate the ability of U.S. citizens and their immediate family members to exit Gaza safely and travel via Egypt to their final destinations. There is no higher priority than the safety of U.S. citizens abroad, and U.S. Embassy Cairo teams are poised to assist these U.S. citizens. We are working tirelessly, including with partner and allied nations with citizens in Gaza, to secure their ability to safely depart the conflict area. –Press Release, US State Dept

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