Israel says will open new north Gaza land crossing for overseas, Jordanian aid

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Israel will open a new land crossing into the Gaza Strip designed mainly to facilitate deliveries to Palestinians of aid from overseas or neighboring Jordan, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday.

After a cross-border attack by Gaza’s ruling Hamas militia on Oct. 7, Israel went to war and cut off supplies from or through its territory to the impoverished coastal enclave.

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A spiralling humanitarian crisis has drawn pressure on Israel from its Western and Arab partners to do more to facilitate the entry of aid, after months in which it sought to shift the burden to Egypt, which also has a border with Gaza.

Israel has gradually reopened two established cargo crossings and created a new crossing on its border, and last week announced it would admit Gaza-bound aid shipments at its southern port of Ashdod.

Briefing reporters, Gallant said a new crossing point would be created on the northern part of the Gaza border to reduce the time taken to truck in aid from Ashdod, 40 km (25 miles) away.

An aide said the crossing point would be between the Israeli village of Zikim and the Palestinian village of As-Siafa.

Gallant said the new crossing point would boost the delivery of aid brought in overland from Jordan, to Israel’s east.

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

There has been disagreement between Israeli and UN counts for the aid reaching Gaza, most of whose 2.3 million people are homeless, parts of which face famine and where civilian infrastructure is devastated and disease widespread.

Israel has also helped set up a maritime corridor for direct deliveries of aid to Gaza by sea and opened its airspace to foreign planes that have parachuted in aid for Palestinians.

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