The humanitarian aid that has been arriving in Egypt in recent days, due to its proximity to the Gaza Strip, finally began to arrive this Saturday to the desperate inhabitants of Gaza who fled north to escape Israel’s bombings against the terrorists. of Hamas.
Egypt keeps its border closed, so as not to let hundreds of thousands of people enter that country due to the complex social and logistical scenario that the Erdogan government sees with this massive arrival, but after international pressure finally the first 20 trucks with aid especially food and medicine entered Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people wait desperately, in almost subhuman conditions with little food and no water.
AFP correspondents confirmed that the first 20 trucks crossed the Rafah post, on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and thus entered the Palestinian enclave, besieged by Israel in the context of the war with Hamas.
“This first convoy must not be the last,” declared the UN emergency operations coordinator, Martin Griffiths.
In total, there are almost 200 trucks with humanitarian aid that have been waiting for days on the Egyptian side to enter the Gaza Strip, governed by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. On the fifteenth day of conflict, these trucks “make a life or death difference” for the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Strip, deprived of water, electricity and fuel, the UN Secretary General indicated in Rafah on Friday, Antonio Guterres.
On Friday, Hamas released its first two hostages, Americans Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie, after mediation by Qatar. Nearly 200 people remain kidnapped by the Palestinian movement.
Diplomatic efforts to avoid a regional escalation are also intensifying. Egypt, a regional power and the first Arab country to normalize its relationship with Israel, hosts a “peace summit” this Saturday in Cairo.
UN chief, European leaders Josep Borrell and Charles Michel, as well as the King of Jordan Abdullah II, the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and several foreign ministers will participate in the meeting, in which there will be no American official.
American President Joe Biden, who on Wednesday announced the agreement to allow the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, considered on Friday that Hamaa provoked the war to derail Israel’s rapprochement process with Saudi Arabia. Faced with massive demonstrations in support of the Palestinians in Arab and Muslim countries, Israel on Saturday urged its citizens in Egypt and Jordan to leave these territories.
Tension is also high in the occupied West Bank, where another person was killed overnight in clashes with the Israeli army near Jericho. At least 84 Palestinians have died since the start of the war in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Israeli troops remain concentrated around Gaza in view of a ground offensive. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant outlined the script for operations on Friday.
After the “military campaign” of airstrikes and the “maneuvers to neutralize the terrorists and Hamas infrastructure,” there will be “low-intensity operations to eliminate the last pockets of resistance,” he said.
Among the possible scenarios, Israel considers “handing over the keys” of the Strip to a third country, such as Egypt, a source from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP.
“I am afraid (…) that this will provoke a second Nakba (catastrophe in Arabic),” says Omar Ashur, a retired general in Gaza, worried, referring to the expulsion of some 760,000 Palestinians after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. At least one million Gazans have had to move within the enclave, according to the UN.