UN aid convoy uses new land route from Israel to reach north Gaza

Source: BBC 

The UN says a new land route has been used to deliver food to northern Gaza for the first time in three weeks.

The Israeli military said six lorries from the World Food Programme crossed via a gate in the Gaza border fence. 

Tuesday night’s delivery was “part of a pilot to prevent Hamas from taking over the aid”, it added.

It comes amid global pressure on Israel to allow more access to the Palestinian territory for aid amid a looming famine as it continues its war on Hamas.

A boat carrying 200 tonnes of food aid for distribution by a charity also set sail from Cyprus on Tuesday, inaugurating a new maritime corridor into the Palestinian territory. It is expected to arrive near Gaza on Thursday.

However, it has been widely pointed out that access by road remains the quickest way to get in urgently needed supplies. 

The UN said the WFP convoy was able to use an Israeli military road that runs along the Gaza border fence to reach the north and deliver enough food for 25,000 people to Gaza City.

Israeli security officials carried out a prior security check on the aid lorries at the Kerem Shalom crossing with southern Gaza, according to the military.

The UN says at least 576,000 people in Gaza – one quarter of the population – are one step away from famine.

It warns that time is running out for the estimated 300,000 people who are isolated in the north of the territory, which UN agencies have struggled to access for several months due to Israeli restrictions, the ongoing hostilities and a breakdown of law and order.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says at least 27 people, most of them children, have died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration at hospitals there.

Israel insists there are no limits to the amount of aid that can be delivered into and across Gaza and blames UN agencies for failing to distribute the aid to the people who need it.

As Gaza’s humanitarian crisis deepens, Qatari and Egyptian mediators say they are continuing to push for a truce between Israel and Hamas. 

The war began when Hamas gunmen attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages. More than 31,100 people have been killed in Gaza since then, the Hamas-run health ministry says.


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