When we visited the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza we could see around a dozen trucks line up and then trundle towards the border.
At the Israeli side of the crossing, also known as Karem Abu Salem, we saw trucks loaded with flour and other food items, and at least one had come from Cairo. But it did not look like any large-scale aid operation.
Israeli officials told us around 80 trucks would enter Gaza on Friday and blamed the UN and aid agencies for being unable to facilitate the entry of more trucks.
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Image: Trucks at the Kerem Shalom crossing
Aid groups say Israel has imposed onerous checks on every truck entering Gaza and this process makes it impossible to deliver enough aid to the strip.
Before the war, more than 500 trucks would enter Gaza every day from Israel with food, building materials and commercial goods like clothes.
Since the war started, there has been barely any aid crossing into the besieged enclave. Israeli officials say in total 4,800 trucks have made it through both crossings.
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But when you consider that nothing entered for weeks at the start of the war and more than 85% of Gazans are now displaced, there is a desperate need not for dozens, but for thousands of trucks.
The Kerem Shalom crossing is located on the southern edge of Gaza.
It’s vitally important to the territory and is the main commercial crossing into the strip.
But until one week ago it was closed. No aid or commercial goods could enter. Israel closed it after the attack by Hamas on 7 October.
UN says enclave has exhausted food supplies
Without these supply trucks entering Gaza, the UN says the enclave has exhausted its supplies of food and has run out of many basic goods. Market prices for everything have skyrocketed. The cost of flour is 10 times higher than it was before the war.
Facing increasing international pressure, Israel has started allowing a limited number of aid trucks to deliver to Gaza through the crossing.
I have spent many days reporting on Gaza’s border crossings from the Palestinian side of the border over the years.
There are few places in the world where people’s lives are as intertwined and dependent on borders as Gaza. That’s because it’s been under an Israeli and Egyptian-imposed siege for more than 16 years.
UN Security Council arguing how to increase aid
Israel decides exactly what is allowed in and out of Gaza, all the imports and exports, and it controls who enters the strip and who is allowed to leave.
After weeks of nothing, there are trucks moving at Kerem Shalom crossing again, but this once busy crossing is largely quiet.
The international community wants the level of aid to Gaza to be dramatically increased. The UN Security Council has been arguing about how to do this all week.
People in Gaza are waiting for answers. The longer they wait the more desperate the demand becomes.
Source : Sky News