Essential aid has started pouring into Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. This movement comes in the wake of a truce between Israel and Hamas, signaling a potential easing of the humanitarian crisis in the region.
According to a CNN stringer on the ground, at least seven fuel trucks made their way into Gaza on Friday, marking a significant moment in the conflict's recent history. Reuters' live video showed trucks laden with aid also making their way into Gaza, a much-needed relief for the war-torn area.
Prior to the truce, a large convoy of aid trucks was observed lined up at the border crossing, poised to deliver much-needed supplies as soon as the ceasefire took effect around 7 a.m. local time.
Essential Aid and Return of Stranded Palestinians
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confirmed the entry of vital supplies into Gaza.
"The fuel and cooking gas are designated for operating essential humanitarian infrastructure in Gaza," COGAT stated, underscoring the truce's role in facilitating these deliveries. This movement, approved by the Israeli government, illustrates a cooperative effort in addressing the urgent needs of Gaza's population.
The exact scope of the aid entering Gaza remains unclear. However, an Egyptian official at the Rafah border reported that at least 90 aid trucks had entered Gaza on Friday alone. These trucks were part of a larger contingent of 200 aid trucks that arrived on the Egyptian side of the crossing in the morning.
In a poignant display of the human impact of the conflict, at least 60 Palestinians who had been stranded in Egypt since October 7 gathered at the Rafah border crossing, hoping to return home during the ceasefire. Their eagerness to reunite with their families after nearly seven weeks of fighting was palpable.
Zeinat Al-Gindy, one of those stranded and desperate to return, expressed her longing to be with her family: “We want to hug our kids. We want to be martyred amongst our children. In Egypt we are like a body without a soul.
Our soul is with our kids, in our homeland, Gaza”. The Chairman of Egypt’s State Information Service confirmed this sentiment in a statement on Friday, declaring that, for the first time since the war began, Palestinians stranded in Egypt would be allowed to enter Gaza at will.
This marks a significant step towards normalizing the movement of people and goods in a region long afflicted by conflict and restriction.