Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Third Humanitarian Aid Convoys Reach Gaza Amidst Ongoing Israel-Hamas Crisis

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A third convoy of vehicles loaded with essential aid has successfully entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, as per reports by international media. Gaza, home to more than 2 million civilians, continues to grapple with the ongoing threat of severe dehydration and starvation due to the persistent bombardment by Israel and the complete blockade in place.

Over the past weekend, specifically on Saturday and Sunday, a total of 34 trucks transported urgently needed supplies including food, water, medications, and medical equipment from Egypt to Gaza via the same crossing.

Despite these efforts, human rights organizations have voiced concerns that the aid reaching the Palestinian enclave remains insufficient. On Thursday, UN experts declared Israel’s actions in Gaza to be equivalent to crimes against humanity. With Israel’s border crossings to Gaza sealed off, the Rafah crossing connecting Egypt and Gaza remains the sole viable route for delivering aid to the Palestinian enclave, as reported by media.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden had a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both leaders affirmed the crucial need to ensure the continuous flow of humanitarian aid and relief materials into Gaza. The White House released a statement indicating that President Biden contacted Netanyahu to discuss developments in Gaza and the surrounding region. The statement mentioned, “The leaders agreed that there will be an ongoing supply of this vital assistance to Gaza.”

Simultaneously, US President Biden expressed his appreciation for the first two convoys of humanitarian assistance since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas. According to the statement, the aid has entered Gaza and is being distributed to Palestinians in need. Additionally, Biden acknowledged Israel’s support in facilitating the release of two American hostages.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed on Saturday the release of two US citizens who had been held hostage by Hamas. The two Americans, identified as Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natali Raanan, both from Chicago, were visiting relatives in Nahal Oz, a farming community in southern Israel. They were released on “humanitarian grounds” due to the mother’s poor health.

Furthermore, the two leaders discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all remaining hostages, including US citizens, held by Hamas. They also deliberated on ensuring safe passage for US citizens and other civilians in Gaza who wish to depart, according to the statement. The White House statement concluded by stating, “The President and the Prime Minister agreed to remain in close contact.”

Meanwhile, India’s humanitarian aid for the people of Palestine arrived in Egypt on Sunday, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The Indian envoy to Egypt, Ajit Gupte, handed over the relief material to the Egyptian Red Crescent for further distribution to Palestine. The official spokesperson of MEA, Arindam Bagchi, shared this development on the social media platform X.

Also Read: Indian Army To Hold Chanakya Defence Dialogue; Rajnath Singh and Jaishankar To Be Key Speakers
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