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May 27, 2024  |  
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Gabrielle M. Etzel, Healthcare Reporter


NextImg:Israel war: Egypt opens temporary aid supply route into Gaza

Egyptian officials temporarily opened an aid supply route on Saturday from the border city of Rafah into the Gaza Strip, allowing 20 aid trucks into the struggling war zone.

Israel has been blocking supplies and utilities into the region in an attempt to starve Hamas of resources. The terrorist organization that doubles as the political leadership in the region regularly embeds its fighters in civilian areas, intercepting aid and supplies meant for innocents and diverting them.

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"With this convoy, the international community is beginning to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that has left residents of Gaza without access to sufficient food, water, medical care, and safe shelter," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. "The opening of this essential supply route was the result of days of exhaustive U.S. diplomatic engagement in the region."

Of the 20 trucks, 13 carried medical supplies, five carried food, and two carried water. Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed for reporters that no fuel was transported from Egypt into Gaza.

Palestinian officials have decried the lack of fuel supplies, saying it is leaving hospitals essentially "unfunctional." Hamas Government Media Officer Salama Marouf also said on Saturday the limited aid supply "will not be enough to change the humanitarian catastrophe that the Gaza Strip is experiencing," urging for the opening of a permanent corridor for an evacuation.

Martin Griffiths, the United Nation's emergency relief coordinator, said that the temporary opening from Egypt was the result of multiple "days of deep and intense negotiations" between all interested parties, calling it the "start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies."

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday that the "needs are far higher" in Gaza than what current supplies have allowed. This includes not only emergency medical care but also treatment for chronic conditions that have been disrupted due to the conflict.

Blinken urged officials to "keep the Rafah crossing open to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza."

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"We have been clear: Hamas must not interfere with the provision of this life-saving assistance," said Blinken. "Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas’s horrific terrorism, and they should not be made to suffer for its depraved acts."

Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported 4,137 Palestinian deaths as of Friday. More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel.