DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
A small convoy enters the Gaza Strip from Egypt, carrying desperately needed medicine and food supplies.
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has opened to let a small amount of desperately needed aid flow to Palestinians running short of food, medicine and water in the territory that is under an Israeli siege.
A convoy including 20 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday from Egypt, carrying medicine and food supplies, a statement from Palestinian group Hamas said.
More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tonnes of aid had been positioned near the crossing for days before heading into Gaza.
“The relief aid convoy that is supposed to enter today includes 20 trucks that carry medicine, medical supplies, and a limited amount of food supplies (canned goods),” Hamas’s media office said earlier.
Israel blockaded the territory and launched waves of punishing air attacks following an October 7 rampage by Hamas fighters on towns in southern Israel.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays said that although the opening of the crossing is “significant” as it might lead to more aid being sent into Gaza, experts are saying more is aid needed.
“I have to say 20 trucks, given that Gaza used to get – in terms of aid coming into Gaza before this conflict started – about 100 trucks of aid a day … so this really is a drop in the ocean,” he said.
Many in Gaza, reduced to eating one meal a day and without enough water to drink, are waiting desperately for aid. Hospital workers were also in urgent need of medical supplies and fuel for their generators as they treat thousands of people wounded in the bombings.
Israel has sealed off the territory for two weeks, forcing Palestinians to ration food and to drink filthy water from wells. Hospitals say they are running low on medicine and fuel for emergency generators amid a territory-wide blackout.
This is a developing story. More to follow.