UN pleads for urgent Gaza aid access


During a visit to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing on Oct. 20, UN Secretary-General AntĂłnio 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

  1. Gaza ‘textbook case of genocide’

    Among those who see Israel now crossing a genocidal threshold is Israeli-American Holocaust scholar Raz Segal, who writes in Jewish Currents that the Gaza bombardment and siege constitute “a textbook case of genocide.” Segal, author of Genocide in the Carpathians, 1914-1945, writes: “Israel has been explicit about what it’s carrying out in Gaza. Why isn’t the world listening?

  2. First aid trucks cross into Gaza from Egypt

    Twenty trucks carrying medicine, medical supplies and food crossed into Gaza from Egypt on the morning of Oct. 21, marking the first humanitarian aid to arrive in the territory since the Israeli bombardment began two weeks ago.

    As the trucks made their way through the Rafah crossing, hundreds of foreign nationals gathered at the Gaza side, hoping to escape the Strip. But by the afternoon, it had become clear that no one would be allowed to leave for now. (NPR)

  3. Smotrich: fuck the hostages

    Top Israeli leaders openly say saving the lives of the dozens of hostages believed to be held in Gaza is a low priority. “We have to be cruel now and not to think too much about the hostages. It’s time for action,” said Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. (Haaretz)

  4. Gaza death toll passes 5,000 with no ceasefire in sight

    The number of people killed in Gaza has exceeded 5,000 according to latest reports from de facto authorities there, amid intensifying Israeli air-strikes, while humanitarians repeated urgent calls for a ceasefire and more aid convoys. Women and children have made up more than 62% of the fatalities, and more than 15,273 people have been injured. (UN News)