UN Says Only 906 Aid Truckloads Reached Gaza since Israel’s Rafah Operation Began

 Displaced Palestinians, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in the Al-Mawasi area in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Displaced Palestinians, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in the Al-Mawasi area in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024. (Reuters)
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UN Says Only 906 Aid Truckloads Reached Gaza since Israel’s Rafah Operation Began

 Displaced Palestinians, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in the Al-Mawasi area in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024. (Reuters)
Displaced Palestinians, who fled their house due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in the Al-Mawasi area in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Aid access to the Gaza Strip is extremely limited with less than 1,000 truckloads of humanitarian assistance entering the enclave since May 7, after Israel began a military operation in southern Gaza's Rafah area, the United Nations said on Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that between May 7 and May 23, only 906 truckloads entered the enclave of 2.3 million people, where a famine looms amid the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said about 800 of those truckloads were food supplies.

OCHA said 143 truckloads passed through the Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing in Gaza's south, while in Gaza's north 62 passed through the Erez crossing and 604 via Erez West. It said 97 truckloads have come through a U.S.-built floating pier in central Gaza that began operating a week ago.

The Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza has been closed since Israel began stepping up its military operation in the area, creating a backlog of aid in Egypt where some of the food supplies have begun to rot.

On Friday, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed with US President Joe Biden by phone to temporarily send humanitarian aid and fuel to the UN via the Kerem Shalom crossing, the Egyptian presidency said.

"There are a lot of doorways into Gaza. ... Whether by land or by sea, we don't control those doorways, but we want them all to be open," Dujarric said on Thursday.

OCHA said on Friday its figures do not include commercial trucks because the UN has been unable to observe private-sector deliveries through Kerem Shalom crossing due to insecurity.

"Additionally, just over 1 million liters of fuel have entered the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the military operation in Rafah," OCHA said in an update posted online.

"This represents an average of 29% of fuel allocations that would have been received under arrangements in place prior to 6 May, further affecting the functioning of bakeries, hospitals, water wells, and other critical infrastructure," it said.

The UN says at least 500 trucks a day of aid and commercial goods need to enter Gaza. In April, an average of 189 trucks entered a day - the highest since the war started in October.

Israel is retaliating against Hamas, which rules Gaza, over an Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian militants in which more than 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Nearly 130 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.

Israel launched an air, ground and sea assault on the blockaded Palestinian territory, killing more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.



Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
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Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it fired a new wave of rockets and drones at the Israeli army on Thursday, after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders, AFP reported.
It was Hezbollah’s largest simultaneous attack in near-daily cross-border fire between it and the Israeli army since its ally Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered the Gaza war.
Hezbollah fighters launched “an attack with rockets and drones, targeting six barracks and military sites” while simultaneously flying “squadrons of explosive-laden drones” at three other Israeli bases, the group said in a statement.
One of the targets included an Israeli base that Hezbollah said housed an intelligence headquarters “responsible for the assassinations.”
Hezbollah said the attacks were “part of the response to the assassination” of Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah on Tuesday.
The Israeli army said about “40 projectiles were launched toward the Galilee and Golan Heights area,” adding most were intercepted while others ignited fires.
The Israeli government vowed to respond strongly to all Hezbollah attacks.
“Israel will respond with force to all aggressions by Hezbollah,” government spokesman David Mencer said during a press briefing.
“Whether through diplomatic efforts or otherwise, Israel will restore security on our northern border,” he added.
In recent weeks, cross-border exchanges have escalated, with Hezbollah stepping up its use of drones to attack Israeli military positions and Israel hitting back with targeted strikes against the militants.
On Wednesday, top Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine vowed the group would “increase the intensity, strength, quantity and quality of our attacks,” while speaking at Abdallah’s funeral.
The Israeli army confirmed it carried out the strike that “eliminated” Abdallah on Tuesday, describing him as “one of Hezbollah’s most senior commanders in southern Lebanon.”
A Lebanese military source said he was the “most important” Hezbollah commander to have been killed since the start of the war.
The cross-border violence has killed at least 468 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 89 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
Israeli authorities say at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed.