Friday, June 21, 2024

The day after the Biden-Sisi deal, trucks loaded with humanitarian aid wait in front of the Rafah crossing to enter Gaza.


As the humanitarian crisis worsens in the besieged area, thousands of trucks loaded with humanitarian aid await permission to enter Gaza. It follows an agreement between US President Joe Biden and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to facilitate the entry of the first batch of relief goods amid the ongoing war between Palestinian Hamas and Israel.

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The next morning An agreement between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his US counterpart Joe BidenThousands of tons of relief aid sent to Gaza on Thursday waited in front of the Rafah border crossing or in the city of Al-Arish in North Sinai in Egypt awaiting permission to enter the besieged area.

Since October 7, the Gaza Strip has been under constant bombardment and a complete blockade by Israel, following an attack by Hamas on the Hebrew state that killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

Continuous Israeli bombardment has led to the deaths of at least 3,478 people, most of them Palestinian civilians, according to local officials in the Strip, prompting the World Health Organization to warn of a humanitarian “catastrophe”.

On Thursday, eyewitnesses said “about 150 trucks were waiting in front of the Rafah crossing,” while hundreds of trucks were waiting in Al-Arish city.

According to eyewitnesses, lorry drivers are warning that they contain food items which may spoil due to long wait.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and US President Joe Biden agreed during a phone call early Thursday to “sustainably bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing,” Cairo announced. Presidency.

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The Egyptian statement did not say when aid would begin in the Strip, but it came shortly after Biden announced that Sisi had agreed to allow the first batch of 20 trucks of humanitarian aid trucks to enter the besieged area through Rafah. By 2.4 million people.

Biden expected the trucks would not cross before Friday because the road around the crossing needs to be repaired.

Since the start of the war, the Rafah border crossing, the only route through the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority that is not under Israeli control, has been bombed four times, prompting the Egyptian side to temporarily close and evacuate staff. .

On Wednesday, during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, Sisi confirmed that Egypt had not closed the Rafah border crossing since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel.

Some Egyptian equipment also entered the Palestinian side of the crossing, witnesses said Wednesday, in preparation for road paving operations for trucks to cross, but work has not yet begun.

British Foreign Secretary James Wise arrived in Cairo on Thursday to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss developments in the situation between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will arrive later.

France 24/AFP

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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