The border crossing between Egypt and Gaza opened on Saturday to let a trickle of desperately needed aid into the besieged Palestinian territory for the first time since Israel sealed it off in the wake of Hamas’two weeks ago.
Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, half of whom have, are rationing food and drinking dirty water. Hospitals say they are running low on medical supplies and fuel for emergency generators amid a territory-wide power blackout. Israel is still launching waves of airstrikes across Gaza as Palestinian militants fire rocket barrages into Israel.
The opening came after more than a week of high-level diplomacy by various mediators, including visits to the region by U.S. Presidentand U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Israel had insisted that nothing would enter Gaza until by Hamas were freed, and the Palestinian side of the crossing had been shut down by Israeli airstrikes.
Egypt’s state-owned Al-Qahera news, which is close to security agencies, said just 20 trucks had crossed into Gaza on Saturday, out of more than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid that have been positioned near the crossing for days. Hundreds of foreign passport holders also waited to cross from Gaza to Egypt to.
The death toll has now reached 4,385 — including 1,756 children and 967 women — in addition to 13,561 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza during a news conference on Saturday. Seventy percent of the casualties are women, children and and elderly people, the ministry spokesperson said.