UN Sends First Convoy From Egypt to Gaza Since 2007
A United Nations humanitarian aid convoy crossed into Gaza from Egypt on Wednesday, for the first time since Israel imposed a security blockade on the Hamas-ruled terror haven in 2007. Egypt since last year has imposed a siege of its own on Gaza.
The World Food Program (WFP) said the convoy, which entered Gaza through the Rafah Crossing, carried enough food to last 150,000 people for five days. As part of the ceasefire deal reached Tuesday night, Egypt agreed to ease passage through the Rafah Crossing.
"It is extremely important that we have access to the Gaza Strip to ensure a constant flow of humanitarian supplies to meet the growing needs of the people affected by the recent violence," said Mohamed Diab, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe.
The convoy was carrying 15,650 food parcels, including ready-to-eat canned meat, canned beans, tea and dates, according to a statement from the UN agency in Geneva. Another 10,000 parcels are to be delivered in the next few days.
Since Hamas escalated its rocket war on Israel causing the IDF to launch Operation Protective Edge on July 8, WFP reports having provided daily food rations to around 350,000 people in Gaza. Israel kept the Gaza borders open to goods for nearly all of the operation.
WFP said it will need around $70 million in order to continue supplying the Hamas stronghold for the next three months.
Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed revealed on Tuesday night the details of the long-term ceasefire deal that Israel agreed to with the terrorist organization Hamas, a deal that went into effect that night at 7 p.m.
According to the deal, Israel would immediately open the borders to humanitarians goods as well as some construction goods, despite the fact that such materials were used to build Hamas's terror tunnel network and domestically produced rockets. Israel also agreed to lift the closure of Gaza's fishing zone, which was implemented due to the security threat.
Major Hamas demands, such as the opening of a sea and airport in Gaza, and a swap of hundreds of terrorists for the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, who were killed in the operation, are to be discussed in talks in a month's time.
Israel's lone demand, the disarmament of Gaza, was flatly rejected in the ceasefire talks, and will be raised for discussion in the negotiations occurring within a month.