Egypt is striving to accelerate the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, a senior official said on Thursday, after the amount of relief getting through to the Palestinian enclave dipped with the end of the Israel-Hamas truce on Dec. 1.
Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service, said that since the conflict in Gaza began on Oct. 7, the Rafah crossing on its border with Egypt has been the only entry point for aid trucks carrying desperately needed supplies of food, medicines, water and fuel.
The number of trucks crossing daily has dropped in recent days to fewer than 100, from nearly 200 when the week-long truce was in place. On Wednesday, 80 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, according to the United Nations.
Egypt, along with the United Nations, has been lobbying Israel to speed up an inspection process for aid trucks that requires the vehicles to drive to Egypt's border with Israel before looping back to Rafah.
According to Rashwan, Egypt would never allow the emptying of the Gaza Strip of its residents as Israel’s military campaign pushes them southwards towards the border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Rashwan added that Egypt believed Israel's operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank aimed to force Palestinians towards Jordan.
Any suggestion of Palestinian dispersal is highly contentious in the Arab world as the war that led to Israel’s creation 75 years ago gave rise to the exodus or forced displacement of 760,000 Palestinians, an event known as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”.
Over 80 percent of Gaza’s population – around 1.9 million of its 2.3 million residents – are internally displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The majority of Gazans have been crowding in the southern part of the territory, where Israel has launched a new and vicious assault, after fleeing the north.
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