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A humanitarian convoy headed to Gaza. (Photo: via UN Twitter Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The decision came into effect on Sunday, which marked six months since Israel began its brutal assault on Gaza.

Egypt has decided to increase the number of humanitarian aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, to at least 300 per day, according to an official.

The decision came into effect on Sunday, which marked six months since Israel began its brutal assault on the besieged enclave, leaving more than 33,000 dead.

According to Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, the decision was made under the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Rashwan said the number of aid trucks that entered from the Egyptian side into areas of north Gaza during Ramadan amounted to 322 trucks of various humanitarian and relief shipments.

He also said that the number of trucks that entered Gaza from the Rafah crossing, since Israel’s assault began, reached 19,354 trucks, carrying 19,952 tons of medical supplies, 10,435 tons of fuel, 123,453 tons of food, and 26,692 tons of water, 44,103 other relief materials, 2,023 tons of tents and tarpaulins, and 123 equipped ambulances.

In addition, 3,764 injured and sick people entered Egypt from Gaza for treatment, along with 6,191 others who accompanied them, 66,759 foreign nationals and dual nationals, as well as 6,330 Egyptians.

No Change – UNRWA

Following the Israeli attack on a World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy last week that killed seven aid workers, the organization along with another organization, Anera, announced it would suspend all aid operations due to safety concerns.

According to the latest Situation Report of the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), as of April 3, 2024, there has been “no significant change in the volume of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza or improved access to the north.”

“Since the beginning of April, a daily average of 169 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza per day via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah land crossings. This remains well below the operational capacity of both border crossings and the target of 500 trucks per day,” the report stated.

‘Famine Imminent’

Late last month, Israel informed UNRWA that it would no longer approve food convoys to northern Gaza.

“Despite the tragedy unfolding under our watch, the Israeli Authorities informed the UN that they will no longer approve any UNRWA food convoys to the north,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said.

He called the decision “outrageous” and said Israel “makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man made famine.”

“These restrictions must be lifted,” he stressed.

A UN-backed food assessment report in March confirmed “famine is imminent” in the northern governorates of Gaza “anytime between now and May 2024.”

At least 15 children have died from malnutrition and dehydration at the Kamal Adwan Hospital, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,175 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,886 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in the enclave.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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