Aid trucks await entry at Rafah border crossing while Israel strikes on Gaza continue

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Israel continued bombarding Gaza by land, sea, and air on Tuesday, while hundreds of aid trucks waited at Egypt’s border with residents and humanitarian groups pleading for water, food and fuel for dying generators, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Relief convoys which had been waiting in the Egyptian city of El Arish Tuesday headed towards the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, aid officials said.

“We have arrived at the terminal and are now waiting for the next step,” said Heba Rashed, who runs the aid group Mersal.
Hundreds more lorries were headed along the coast road for the 40 kilometers (25 mile) journey to Rafah, other aid officials said.

Israel launched intense bombs on the Palestinian side of the crossing during the early hours of Tuesday morning, raising concerns about security and safety of residents in the area as well as the convoys hoping to transport the much-needed aid, according to Al Arabiya and Al Hadath sources.

At least 49 people were killed in Israel’s Tuesday air strikes on Khan Yunis and Rafah in Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry said. More than 2,800 Gazans have been killed in Israeli bombardment on the overcrowded, impoverished enclave and some 10,000 others were injured, according to officials. Many more bodies have yet to be recovered from the rubble of destroyed buildings, medics in the city have said.

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 14, 2023. (Reuters)
Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 14, 2023. (Reuters)

The October 7 assault by Hamas left at least 1,400 Israelis dead, while several others were taken as hostages by fighters who launched the incursion on southern Israel.

Rights groups have said the tiny Palestinian territory sealed off by Israel after last week’s assault by Hamas was near total collapse.

In Gaza, hospitals were on the verge of losing electricity, threatening the lives of thousands of patients, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced from their homes searched for bread.

A Palestinian kidney patient lies on a hospital bed, as health officials say they are running out of fuel to operate dialysis devices, amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at Naser hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 15, 2023. (Reuters)
A Palestinian kidney patient lies on a hospital bed, as health officials say they are running out of fuel to operate dialysis devices, amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at Naser hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 15, 2023. (Reuters)

Israel continued to launch thousands of air strikes across Gaza as a ground invasion loomed, while Hamas militants retaliated with a barrage of rocket attacks and tensions mounted on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

All eyes are on the Rafah border crossing – Gaza’s only connections to Egypt – after more than a week since Israel cut off entry to any supplies.

Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Oct.16, 2023. (AP)
Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Oct.16, 2023. (AP)

Mediators are trying to reach a ceasefire that would let in aid and let out trapped foreigners; however, Israel has rejected all attempts at establishing a truce.

US President Joe Biden planned to travel to Israel on Wednesday to signal White House support for the country and to Jordan to meet with Arab leaders.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the trip early Tuesday in Tel Aviv during his second visit to Israel in less than a week amid fears that the fighting could expand into a broader regional conflict.

(With Agencies)

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