Aid to Gaza is being squeezed by Israel and Egypt

Aid to Gaza is being squeezed by Israel and Egypt
Photo: Shutterstock

Desperately needed food and medical supplies are being withheld from Gaza because of a disagreement between Egypt and Israel over how to get the aid into the strip, according to the New York Times.

Aid for Gaza is largely collected in Egypt. It can enter the strip through two border crossings: Kerem Shalom and Rafah. 

Israel closed down the Kerem Shalom crossing last week after Hamas launched a rocket that killed four Israeli soldiers nearby. Then it seized the Rafah border. Israel has since reopened Kerem Shalom but sources tell the New York Times that Egypt is refusing to allow aid to be redirected from Rafah to Kerem Shalom. The sources believe Egypt is trying to pressure Israel to withdraw its forces from Rafah.  

“I’ve never been involved in a situation as devastating, complex or erratic as this,” Hamish Young, the senior emergency coordinator in Gaza for UNICEF, said in a press release on Friday.

Relief agencies warn that the entire population of Gaza – more than 2.2 million people - are currently at risk of famine. 

“This is as bad as it gets and it will lead to horrifying levels of suffering and death,” said the International Rescue Committee.

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