During a visit to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing on Oct. 20, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for trucks carrying humanitarian aid to urgently be allowed into Gaza. According to the UN, around 200 trucks were waiting on the Egyptian side of the border. Some are expected to start moving “in the next day or so,” according to UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths. On Oct. 18, US President Joe Biden announced he had brokered a deal with Egypt and Israel to allow 20 aid trucks into Gaza through Rafah—the only border crossing not controlled by Israel. The World Health Organization called it a “drop in the ocean of need right now.” In his speech, Guterres called for “as many [trucks] as necessary” to be allowed to enter Gaza on a daily basis.
The UN estimates that around one million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes in two weeks of intense Israeli bombardment and siege of the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, when gunmen from Hamas—the political and militant group that governs the enclave—launched a deadly incursion into Israel. More than 4,000 Palestinians have reportedly been killed and over 13,000 injured, Gaza residents are struggling to find clean water to drink, food supplies are dwindling, and the healthcare system is reportedly on the brink of collapse.
From The New Humanitarian, Oct. 20
Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun/TNH