UN uses new land route from Israel to reach northern Gaza

UN uses new land route from Israel to reach northern Gaza

/ 11:10 AM March 13, 2024

UN uses new land route from Israel to reach northern Gaza

A truck containing humanitarian aid from the World Food Organization (WFP) moves in a location given as northern Gaza Strip, in this handout image released on March 12, 2024. Israeli Army Handout/Handout via REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations used a new land route on Tuesday to deliver food to northern Gaza for the first time in three weeks as global pressure grows on Israel to allow more access to the coastal enclave amid a looming famine.

Jamie McGoldrick, U.N. aid coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told Reuters that a World Food Program (WFP) convoy had used an Israeli military road that runs alongside the Gaza border fence to reach the enclave’s north.


Enough food for 25,000 people was delivered to Gaza City in the early hours of Tuesday, said WFP spokesperson Shaza Moghraby. It was WFP’s first delivery to the north since Feb. 20 and “proves that moving food by road is possible.”


READ: US dispatches aid ship to Gaza after Biden vows to build pier

“We are hoping to scale up, we need access to be regular and consistent especially with people in northern Gaza on the brink of famine,” said Moghraby. “We need entry points directly to the north.”

The U.N. has warned that at least 576,000 people in Gaza – one-quarter of the population – are on the brink of famine.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that the United States was working with Israel to increase the amount of aid “by ground both through Kerem Shalom and through a new crossing, where we had the first trucks get in last night and we need to see more where that came from.”

Israel’s military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the use of the military road by the WFP convoy.

READ: What we know about Gaza aid convoy deaths


Limited aid via land has been reaching southern Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt and Kerem Shalom from Israel.

“Life-saving relief for Palestinians in Gaza is coming in trickles – if it comes at all,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that the U.N. and aid groups were “working to deliver desperately needed assistance, despite ongoing fighting and Israeli bombardment, as well as insecurity, frequent border closures and access constraints that continue to impede safe and efficient aid operations.”

The U.N. had been pushing Israel for weeks to allow aid convoys – once inspected in the south – to use the military road along the Gaza border fence road, McGoldrick said last week. The plan was for trucks to cross into Gaza from the Israeli village Beeri.

The United States, Jordan and others have conducted airdrops of aid in Gaza and on Tuesday a ship carrying 200 tonnes of aid left Cyprus in a pilot project to open a sea corridor to deliver supplies. While U.N. officials have welcomed new aid routes, they stress there is no substitute for land access.

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The war began after Hamas fighters attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Israel retaliated by imposing a total siege on Gaza, then launching an air and ground assault that has killed 31,000 Palestinians, health authorities in Gaza say.

TAGS: Gaza, US

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