update deskIsrael at War

Israel to open new crossing to ‘flood’ Gaza with aid

The new crossing will help expedite deliveries from overseas, but also from neighboring Jordan.

Armed and masked Palestinians seen on trucks loaded with international humanitarian aid entering Gaza through the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Armed and masked Palestinians seen on trucks loaded with international humanitarian aid entering Gaza through the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, April 3, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Israel will open a new land crossing to the Gaza Strip designed primarily to facilitate the entry of foreign aid, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday.

Gallant told reporters that the new crossing point would be established in the northern part of the coastal enclave, between the Israeli village of Zikim and the Palestinian village of As-Siafa.

According to the minister, the new crossing will reduce travel time for trucks to enter Gaza after picking up shipments at the Port of Ashdod some 25 miles away. The goal, according to Gallant, is to reach at least 500 trucks a day entering the Strip.

The new crossing will help expedite deliveries from overseas, but also from neighboring Jordan.

“These breakthroughs have a direct impact on the flow of aid—we plan to flood Gaza with aid,” Gallant said. “It will also streamline security checks and strengthen our work with international partners.”

Israel has facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid throughout the war, even as Hamas siphons up to 60% of it, according to Israeli estimates. Jerusalem has helped set up a maritime aid corridor and coordinated airdrops.

COGAT, the Israel Defense Ministry unit handling aid to Gaza, said on Wednesday that “Israel is surging aid into Gaza” with more than 1,200 trucks entering the Strip from Sunday to Tuesday, an average of 400 a day.

In an X post on Wednesday, COGAT accused United Nations agencies of delaying shipments after they reached Gaza, saying that 500 aid trucks were sitting on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing after going through Israeli inspections and being transferred, waiting to be picked up by U.N. agencies.

“@UN, Do your job, focus on distribution, and stop blaming Israel for your colossal failures,” COGAT tweeted.

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