ReutersA girl at the Rafah border crossing
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 04:56
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip may be able to expect the first aid supplies within a few days. US President Biden has made agreements with Egyptian President Sisi to allow twenty trucks carrying emergency aid to pass through. This should reach the residents of Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.
Biden spoke with Sisi by phone for half an hour on the plane on the way back to the US from Israel. A spokesperson for Sisi confirmed the agreements after Biden mentioned them. It is still unclear when the first trucks will be able to cross the border. Biden said roads still need to be repaired. White House officials said the earliest it could happen would be Friday.
Biden emphasized that aid must reach the residents of Gaza via the UN and aid organizations. Once goods are seized by Hamas, it will stop, the president said. If all goes well, more items may be able to cross the border. There is no clarity about this yet.
After his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the American president was initially expected to travel to the Jordanian capital Amman, where talks were planned with the Jordanian king, Egyptian President Sisi and Palestinian President Abbas. That summit was canceled due to the explosion at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City.
Biden said about the conversation with Netanyahu that he expressed his support but also had critical questions for the Israeli prime minister. “If they have the opportunity to alleviate the suffering of people who have nowhere to go, they should do it. If not, they should be held accountable. Otherwise you’re going to lose your credit worldwide, and I think everyone understands that.”
One hundred trucks a day
Due to bombings and a lack of water, electricity and fuel, a humanitarian crisis is raging in Gaza. For days, eyes have been focused on the border crossing at Rafah, where a line of trucks is waiting on the other side of the border in Egypt. Israel has no plans to open border crossings between Israel and Gaza for aid for the time being.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council that large-scale aid for Gazans is desperately needed. The Briton said the pressure on healthcare is unsustainable; at least a hundred trucks per day should be allowed to meet the basic needs of Gazans.