Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that logistic difficulties imposed by Israel and its repeated bombing of the Rafah border crossing delayed the delivery of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip and placed additional burdens on the African nation. Shoukry made the remarks on Sunday during his talks with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain in Cairo, where they discussed “the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip and the increasing humanitarian needs of the people of the Strip”, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement issued by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry as saying.
The Egyptian top diplomat stressed the necessity to urgently provide more aid to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, highlighting Cairo’s intensified efforts in this regard. The WFP chief lauded Egypt for its role in ensuring that the Palestinians in Gaza have continuous access to humanitarian aid. Egypt had previously complained of the slow inspection procedures of the aid trucks that are sent from Egypt to Gaza through the Rafah crossing at the Israeli crossing of Nitzana. Earlier on Sunday, Egypt sent 75 trucks loaded with food, water, and medical supplies through the Rafah crossing to Gaza, raising the total number of aid trucks sent to the enclave since October 21 to nearly 500, a security source told Xinhua news agency.
According to the UN Office for Coordinated Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 451 trucks have entered Gaza via Rafah — the only crossing point between the Hamas-controlled enclave and Egypt. Of these, at least 158 trucks carried food, 102 carried health supplies, 44 carried water or hygiene products, 32 carried non-food items, and eight carried nutrition supplies, with the remaining trucks carrying mixed cargo, the OCHA said in its latest situation update report. The Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel, which prior to the hostilities was the main entry point for goods, remains closed, as does the Israeli pedestrian crossing of Erez.
For a second consecutive day on Sunday, no exits of dual nationals or patients from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah crossing reportedly due to the failure of Hamas, Israel and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the safe evacuation. The halt in the exit of dual nationals and patients followed an attack on an ambulance convoy on its way from Gaza city to Rafah on November 3. More than 1,100 people reportedly crossed from Gaza to Egypt on November 2 and 3.