Hamas confirms no alternative to opening land crossings for aid delivery

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Hamas said that there is no alternative to opening land crossings under Palestinian supervision for delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, including the newly anchored floating aid pier. The confirmation comes following the start of operations by the US-built aid pier off the coast of Gaza City, according to local Palestinian sources, reports Xinhua news agency. Any means of aid delivery, including the aid pier, is not a substitute for opening all land crossings under Palestinian supervision, Hamas said in a statement.

It emphasised the right of the Palestinian people to receive all necessary aid amid the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the occupation of the Gaza Strip. It also reiterated the rejection by Hamas and all Palestinian factions of any military presence of any force on Palestinian territories. Earlier, local Palestinian sources told Xinhua that a ship carrying humanitarian aid had reached the shores of the Gaza Strip while smaller boats began unloading their cargo and delivering it to the aid pier west of the city. Dozens of trucks were reported waiting on the coastal strip to be loaded with aid and transported to warehouses belonging to the United Nations (UN) in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the sources noted that another group of ships are on the way to the shores of Gaza, with expectations to unload their cargo soon. Palestinian sources said that international relief organisations, led by the World Food Program (WFP) operating in the Gaza Strip, would be responsible for receiving and distributing the aid to local residents. The US announced earlier Friday that trucks carrying humanitarian aid had reached the coast of the Gaza Strip through the floating maritime port it had constructed.

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American media quoted US sources as saying that what is currently being implemented is part of a multinational effort to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. In April, the US Department of Defense announced its plans to build a temporary floating dock on the coast of the Gaza Strip to facilitate humanitarian aid delivery to the Gaza Strip, which suffers from severe shortages of food, medicine and other life necessities, according to local and international health sources. Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in Gaza to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on October 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed, and more than 200 were taken hostage.

According to Gaza-based health authorities, the persistent Israeli attacks have killed more than 35,000 Palestinians and wounded over 79,000 in the enclave. Due to the conflict, the majority of the coastal strip’s residents suffer from shortages of food, medicine, and basic humanitarian needs, prompting UN agencies to warn of dire consequences that could occur in the area, such as famine, epidemics and diseases among local residents.