France, Jordan Urge Israel to Lift Gaza Aid Restrictions

A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. US Army Central/Handout via REUTERS
A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. US Army Central/Handout via REUTERS
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France, Jordan Urge Israel to Lift Gaza Aid Restrictions

A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. US Army Central/Handout via REUTERS
A truck carries humanitarian aid across Trident Pier, a temporary pier to deliver aid, off the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, near the Gaza coast, May 19, 2024. US Army Central/Handout via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron and King Abdullah II of Jordan Monday called on Israel to lift all land-based "restrictions" on the delivery of aid to war-torn Gaza, the presidency said.

UN agencies have repeatedly warned of severe shortages of vital supplies in Gaza, exacerbated by restrictions on access by land and the closure of the key Rafah crossing with Egypt since Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side in early May.

Over lunch at the Elysee Palace, Macron and Abdullah II reiterated the need for an "immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza" and called for the release of all hostages -- including two French nationals.

The leaders also "expressed their deep concern about the situation in the West Bank and strongly condemned the violence committed by settlers", the Elysee Palace said in a statement, AFP reported.

They agreed to continue to work together on a "lasting and credible solution" to the war based on the "two-state solution" and welcomed reforms undertaken by the Palestinian government and called for them to be continued.

Referring to the intensification of tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border, Macron and Abdullah II warned against a "conflagration that would be catastrophic for the region", and reiterated their calls to all parties for "responsibility and restraint".



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.