Home world First aid delivery due in Gaza in 'the next day or so': UN

First aid delivery due in Gaza in 'the next day or so': UN

First aid delivery due in Gaza in 'the next day or so': UN
Published October 20, 2023 Updated October 20, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

GENEVA — The first aid delivery into the besieged Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt should take place “in the next day or so”, the United Nations (UN) said on Friday (Oct 20).

“We are in deep and advanced negotiations with all relevant sides to ensure that an aid operation in Gaza starts as quickly as possible… a first delivery is due to start in the next day or so,” the UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said, quoted by his spokesman Jens Laerke in Geneva.

Mr Laerke told reporters: “I do not have an exact time for when these movements will take place, of course, with the hope that they can begin as soon as possible, in a way that is safe, secure and hopefully sustained.

“We need to have the mechanism in place whereby this can be driven into southern Gaza. That does not take away from our call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

Desperately needed international aid piled up Friday in Egypt near Gaza, with Palestinians in dire need of food and water after relentless bombing by Israel, still reeling from the bloodiest attack in its history.

The UN says more than one million of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have been displaced and that the humanitarian situation is worsening by the day.

Egyptian state-linked broadcaster Al Qahera News had said the Rafah crossing — the only route into Gaza — would open on Friday, but Cairo later said it needed more time to repair roads.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after the Islamist militant group launched a massive attack from the Gaza Strip on Oct 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

In response, Israeli war planes have levelled entire city blocks in Gaza in preparation for a ground invasion they say is coming soon. More than 3,785 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the bombing, according to the latest toll from the Hamas-run health ministry. AFP