| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Israel says two border crossings to examine Gaza aid

Israel announced plans for increased humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, revealing the establishment of two extra checkpoints to inspect relief supplies before sending them to the Palestinian territory via the Rafah crossing.
International aid organizations have struggled to get supplies to desperate Gazans under Israeli bombardment, with only the Rafah crossing in Egypt open.
No new direct crossings will be opened, Israel stressed on Monday, but the Nitzana and Kerem Shalom crossings will be used to carry out checks before sending the trucks through Rafah.
“This is being done to improve the volume of security screenings of aid entering Gaza via the Rafah Crossing and will enable us to double the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza,” the army said on X.
UN humanitarian agency OCHA said Sunday that around 100 trucks per day were bringing humanitarian supplies from Egypt into Gaza since a week-long truce ended on December 1, compared with a daily average of 500 before the war.
The additional checkpoints will screen “trucks containing water, food, medical supplies and shelter equipment,” according to a joint statement from the Israeli army and COGAT, the defense ministry body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.
It emphasised that “no supplies will be entering the Gaza Strip from Israel,” only via Egypt.
The UN General Assembly will meet Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian crisis, after the United States last week vetoed a Security Council resolution for a cease-fire.
Heavy urban battles raged Monday in the bloodiest-ever war in Gaza, with more than 18,200 Palestinians and 104 Israeli soldiers reported dead.
Israel’s assault on Gaza was triggered after Hamas, which rules the territory, launched a bloody attack on southern Israel on October 7 that left 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

  • Arab News