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Similar checks are already being carried out at another border post. Alamy
relief supplies

Israel to carry out examinations of relief supplies entering into Gaza

The WHO has again called for a ceasefire as it said medical aid was not reaching the citizens in Gaza.

ISRAEL SAID YESTERDAY it will conduct additional examinations on relief supplies, before they are dispatched to the Palestinian territory through the Rafah crossing.

International aid organisations have struggled to get supplies to desperate Gazans under Israeli bombardment, with only the Rafah crossing in Egypt open.

While no direct crossings will be opened, the Kerem Shalom crossing will be used to carry out checks before sending the trucks through Rafah.

“This is being done to improve the volume of security screenings of aid entering Gaza via the Rafah Crossing and will enable us to double the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza,” the army said on X, formerly Twitter.

Similar checks are already being carried out at the Nitzana border post.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) this morning reiterated its call for the protection of health care and humanitarian assistance in Gaza after it witnessed that the establishment of military checkpoints were being delayed.

On a mission to the Gaza Strip to deliver medical aid and assist with the transferring of patients, where one patient reportedly died, WHO saw the detention of health partners and workers.

“The difficulties faced by this mission illustrate the shrinking space for humanitarian actors to provide aid within Gaza, even though access is desperately needed to alleviate the catastrophic humanitarian situation…,” WHO said in a statement today.

It added: “WHO and partners remain firmly committed to staying in Gaza and assisting the population.

“But as hostilities increase across Gaza, aid falls short of needs, the humanitarian support system is on the verge of falling apart.

“The only viable solution is a sustained ceasefire, so WHO and partners can work safely and unhindered to strengthen a deteriorating health system, replenish critical supplies of fuel, medicines, and other essential aid, and prevent disease, hunger, and further suffering in the Gaza Strip.

The additional checkpoint will screen “trucks containing water, food, medical supplies and shelter equipment”, according to a joint statement from the Israeli army and COGAT, the defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.

The UN General Assembly will meet today to discuss the humanitarian crisis, after the United States last week vetoed a Security Council resolution for a ceasefire.

UN humanitarian agency OCHA said Sunday that around 100 trucks per day were bringing humanitarian supplies from Egypt into Gaza since a week-long truce ended on December 1, compared with a daily average of 500 before the war.

Heavy urban battles raged Monday in the bloodiest-ever war in Gaza, with more than 18,200 Palestinians and 104 Israeli soldiers reported dead.

Israel’s assault on Gaza was triggered after Hamas, which rules the territory, launched a bloody attack on southern Israel on 7 October that left 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

© AFP 2023, with reporting by Muiris Ó Cearbhaill