Home News Aid starts flowing into Gaza through U.S.-built terminals, but officials say it’s...

Aid starts flowing into Gaza through U.S.-built terminals, but officials say it’s not enough

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Trucks carrying humanitarian aid began landing in Gaza through makeshift docks early Friday Built by the U.S. ArmyThe first batch of aid will be delivered to the enclave by sea within two months. But new shipments of food and other supplies fall far short of what humanitarian groups say is needed to meet Gaza’s alarming levels of hunger and poverty.

A day ago, the US military said it had anchored Floating Piers and Causeways Access to Gaza beaches, a key step in completing the maritime corridor The Pentagon announced in March. U.S. officials and international aid groups say maritime transport can only supplement, not replace, land transport.

The U.S. military said no U.S. troops entered Gaza on Friday and stressed it was only providing logistical support to deliver supplies, which were donated by a number of countries and organizations.

The war-torn territory, home to 2.2 million civilians, is more dependent than ever on humanitarian aid. The destruction after seven months of Israeli bombing, strict Israeli inspections and restrictions on crossings has severely restricted entry. Over the past week and a half, since Israel began its military assault around the city of Rafah, supplies through southern Gaza’s main land crossing have been reduced to a trickle.

Aid agencies continue to report an increasingly dire situation in Gaza. “We have never seen anything like this on Earth,” Janti Soeripto, president and CEO of Save the Children USA, told The New York Times on Friday.

Israel is facing pressure from the Biden administration and other allies to do more to ease aid access, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning this week that Recent progress in relief delivery is being eroded Fighting takes place in and around Rafah.

More than 630,000 Gazans have fled Rafah since Israel began its military offensive on May 6, according to the United Nations’ main aid agency to the Palestinians.Many people have been displaced to the central city of Deir al-Balah, UN agency UNRWA say on social media Now it’s “overcrowded and conditions are terrible.”

This week, senior diplomats from 13 countries – including all members of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies except the United States – said in a joint letter that Israel must take “urgent action”. The New York Times has seen a copy of the joint letter. Addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The letter, addressed to Israel’s foreign minister, calls on Israeli authorities to expand the amount of aid entering the territory, take “concrete actions” to protect civilians and work toward a “sustainable ceasefire.”

At a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Friday, lawyers representing Israel defended Rafah’s military action as “limited and localized” and argued that judges should not seek to limit Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The hearing at the tribunal, the United Nations’ top judicial body, was part of a lawsuit filed by South Africa in December accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. At the end of January, the court Orders Israel to take more action to prevent acts of genocide, but the main case on whether genocide occurred is not expected to be heard until next year.

Last week, South Africa asked a judge to issue an emergency order aimed at preventing mass civilian harm in Rafah. lawyer: South Africa argued in court on Thursday Israel’s Operation Rafah is “the final step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people.”

On Friday, Israel’s Deputy Attorney General for International Law, Gilad Noem, reiterated Israel’s strong denial that it is committing genocide in Gaza. He said Israeli authorities were working to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid and protect civilians amid heavy fighting across the enclave, including Rafah.

“Israel is taking steps to try to deal with the enormous complexities presented by this situation,” Mr. Noem told the judge. “That is why there has been no large-scale attack on Rafah, but rather specific, limited and localized operations spearheaded by evacuation efforts and support of humanitarian activities.”

The Israeli military said it was working with the U.S. military and would support the temporary dock project as a “top priority.”

According to USAID, the supplies that started arriving on Friday will meet only a fraction of Gaza’s needs: food bars for 11,000 people, therapeutic food for 7,200 malnourished children and hygiene products for 30,000 people. The British government said it had deployed 8,400 temporary shelters made of plastic sheeting.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement: “More assistance will be available in the coming weeks, but we know the sea route is not the only answer.” statement.

It is unclear where or when the aid will be delivered in the enclave. The U.N. World Food Program said in a statement that it will be responsible for handling the logistics of aid moving through the terminal in Gaza, including coordinating trucks, overseeing the loading of supplies, sending supplies to warehouses and handing them over to “humanitarian partners.” “.

Pentagon officials said they initially aim to move about 90 truckloads of aid by sea each day, increasing that number to about 150 trucks when the operation reaches capacity. Before the war began last October, about 500 trucks of commercial supplies and aid arrived in Gaza every day.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III discussed the maritime corridor in a call with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Galant on Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Austin stressed the need to “increase” humanitarian aid to Gaza through land crossings in addition to the terminal, according to the ministry.

Lt. Gen. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of Central Command, said the terminal would only supplement the flow of aid through land border crossings, which he stressed was “the most efficient way to deliver the necessary quantities of aid.”

One of Gaza’s two main aid crossings, at Rafah on the border with Egypt, has been closed since Israel began military operations against Hamas militants there.Israel closes second major crossing at Kerem Shalom Hamas rocket attack Last week, four Israeli soldiers were killed nearby. Israel said the crossing had reopened.

An aid organization, World Central Kitchen, built a temporary dock In mid-March, aid was delivered to Gaza by sea for the first time in nearly two decades.But those efforts came to an abrupt halt in early April when the group’s seven workers Killed in Israeli attack.

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