First Humanitarian Aid Convoy Arrives in War-Torn Gaza
New Delhi : Following the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza Strip received its first shipment of humanitarian aid through a crucial border crossing. This aid arrived in the form of a 20-truck convoy, providing much-needed supplies. The conflict began when Hamas initiated an unexpected attack in southern Israel, leading to Israel’s response, which involved sealing off and shelling Gaza.
The situation in Gaza is described as dire by international organizations, with Palestinians having to ration their food, resort to drinking contaminated water, and hospitals being overwhelmed with injured patients and running low on supplies.
As part of the aid delivery, two trucks entered Gaza from Egypt, carrying over 44,000 bottles of drinking water, which would suffice for a day for around 22,000 people, according to UNICEF. Israel continues to launch airstrikes that have caused significant damage to Gaza’s neighborhoods and has also issued warnings of a potential ground invasion. Approximately half of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents have been displaced from their homes. Gaza officials report that over 4,000 people have lost their lives due to Israel’s airstrikes, while in Israel, more than 1,400 people have died, with the majority being civilians who perished during the Hamas incursion.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his welcome for the initial aid delivery but emphasized the need for more. He also cautioned that Hamas should not interfere with aid distribution or prevent it from reaching civilians in need.
The arrival of this convoy marks the international community’s first step in addressing the severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where residents lack sufficient access to food, clean water, medical care, and safe shelter. The urgency of the situation prompted calls for keeping the Rafah border crossing open to facilitate ongoing aid movements.
However, aid organizations underscore that the supplies received on Saturday are far from adequate. Over 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid have been positioned near the crossing for days. This level of support is significantly less than what used to enter Gaza daily before the conflict. According to Cindy McCain, the executive director of the World Food Program, many more trucks and a continuous flow of aid are needed. Israeli authorities had previously insisted on the release of more than 200 hostages by Hamas before allowing any aid into Gaza.
Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesman, stated that aid would be directed exclusively to southern Gaza, the region where the army ordered residents to relocate. He added that no fuel would be permitted to enter the territory.
The decision to open the border occurred shortly after Hamas announced the release of an American woman and her teenage daughter, who had been taken captive while visiting Israel. It remains unclear if this release was connected to the aid delivery.
Upon the opening of the Rafah border crossing on Saturday morning to allow aid from Egypt into Gaza, dual citizens eagerly rushed to the border in hopes of being allowed to enter Egypt. Regrettably, crowds of Palestinian dual citizens holding American, Canadian, German, and British passports waited for hours without success, unable to cross into Egypt.
Regarding a tragic incident, an analysis by the Associated Press concluded that the explosion at Gaza’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital on Tuesday, which U.S. officials estimate claimed between 100 and 300 lives, was likely caused by a rocket that fragmented after being fired from Palestinian territory.
Moreover, tensions escalated along Israel’s border with Lebanon as Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters engaged in exchanges of fire on Saturday in several areas along the border.
Former U.S. Representative Justin Amash, who is of Palestinian and Syrian descent, reported that several of his relatives lost their lives during an Israeli airstrike on Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church. Israel confirmed the incident and stated that the church was not the intended military target.”