Stranded Aid Trucks in Egypt Deepen Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis

A drone picture of part of a line of trucks waiting on an Egyptian road along the border with Israel, near the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Oren Alon
A drone picture of part of a line of trucks waiting on an Egyptian road along the border with Israel, near the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Oren Alon
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Stranded Aid Trucks in Egypt Deepen Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis

A drone picture of part of a line of trucks waiting on an Egyptian road along the border with Israel, near the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Oren Alon
A drone picture of part of a line of trucks waiting on an Egyptian road along the border with Israel, near the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Oren Alon

Hundreds of trucks loaded with food and water have been stranded on a scorching Egyptian road, some for nearly two months, awaiting permission to deliver the much needed humanitarian supplies to war-torn Gaza.
About 50 kilometers from the Gaza border, trucks carrying flour, water and other aid line a dusty road in both directions. The drivers say they have been waiting for several weeks in the searing Egyptian summer heat, Reuters said.
The standstill is exacerbating Gaza's dire humanitarian crisis after nine months of war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Aid groups warn there is a high risk of famine across the besieged coastal territory.
The truck drivers, parked on the outskirts of the Egyptian city of al-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula, say they have been unable to deliver humanitarian supplies ever since Israel expanded its offensive on the Gaza-Egypt border in May.
Some food has had to be discarded, they said.
"I swear to God, before this load, we came here and stood for more than 50 days and eventually the load was returned because it had expired," said truck driver Elsayed el-Nabawi.
"We had to turn around and return it. We loaded another batch, and here we are standing again and only God knows if this load will make it before it expires or what will happen to it."
The Israeli military started its assault on the southern Gazan city of Rafah in May.
"We've been stranded here for over a month waiting to deliver this load. We've been waiting for our turn but nothing yet" said Ahmed Kamel, another of the truck drivers, who sit by their vehicles drinking tea and smoking cigarettes.
"We don't know our fate - when we will be able to enter? Today? Tomorrow? The day after tomorrow? Only God knows. Will the stuff we're carrying hold up or most of it will go bad?"
Aid and commercial supplies have still entered Gaza through other land border crossings, through air drops and by sea, but aid groups and Western diplomats say the supplies are far below needs. The drivers say they are waiting for Israeli permission.
'DIFFICULTIES'
Distribution of aid in Gaza was difficult even before Israel's assault on Rafah. Israel has enforced restrictions on goods entering the enclave, saying it wants to prevent them reaching Hamas. Some aid convoys have also been hit in Israeli military strikes, resulting in deaths of aid workers.
Palestinian gangs inside Gaza have also reportedly sought to steal aid and commercial supplies entering the territory of some 2.3 million Palestinians. Desperate Palestinians have also overwhelmed trucks, taking much needed humanitarian supplies.
A senior official at the Israeli foreign ministry said the backlog of aid in Egypt was due to humanitarian aid that has piled up on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom crossing point, creating a backlog of around 1,200 truckloads worth of aid.
The official said that while Israel continued to facilitate the entry of supplies into Gaza, the distribution network inside Gaza run by international groups had been "disrupted" in recent months, blaming local Palestinian criminal gangs and Hamas.
The Israeli military, which oversees coordination of aid in Gaza, has said that it is letting in enough food in from Israel and Egypt for the entire population. It has also acknowledged that aid agencies face "difficulties" in transporting food once it has entered through crossing points, including from Israel.



Israel Takes Advantage of Hezbollah’s Security Gap to Carry Out Assassinations

Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
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Israel Takes Advantage of Hezbollah’s Security Gap to Carry Out Assassinations

Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)

The ongoing Israeli assassinations of Hezbollah fighters and leaders highlight a security and technological gap that the party has been unable to address.
On Thursday morning, Israeli drones killed a leader in Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, Mohammad Hamid Jabara from the town of Qaraoun, in a raid on the town of Gaza in the Bekaa region. Hours later, a member of Hezbollah was killed in an attack on his vehicle, shortly after he had left his mother’s house in the town of Jabal al-Butm in the South. The party mourned him in the afternoon.
Mostafa Asaad, a researcher in military and strategic affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the two assassinations were part of a long series of Israeli attacks against leaders of Hezbollah, Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, and the Hamas movement, throughout southern and eastern Lebanon.
But he added that the assassinations “are not linked to a political dimension”, although their pace decreases at times and intensifies at others. They are rather “a purely military calculation”, he said.
Asaad stressed that Hezbollah has not yet been able to “stop the breaches despite the encrypted transmission devices it uses, which are mostly Iranian devices developed using Chinese, Russian and North Korean models.”
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, which is close to the Hamas movement, was the target of several Israeli strikes. On June 22, the Israeli army killed a member whom it said was responsible for supplying weapons to his faction and its ally, the Hamas movement. The faction had mourned nine of its members, including senior officials, since the start of the escalation.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that it killed Mohammad Jabara, who has links with the Hamas organization in Lebanon and was assigned to promote and implement terrorist plans and launch operations from Lebanon towards Israeli territory, some of which in cooperation with Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya.
In the afternoon, Hezbollah mourned Hassan Muhanna, who was targeted by an Israeli drone in the Butm Mountains. Local media reported that a drone attacked his vehicle, before he got out of the car and hid among the trees, where he was hit by another missile that killed him.
On the other hand, Hezbollah announced that it had bombed the spy equipment at the Hadab Yarin site with appropriate weapons, which led to its destruction.
The Israeli army said that it carried out a raid on Hezbollah’s military infrastructure in the Ain al-Tineh area, and another attack on two of the party’s military sites in Qusayra and Maryamin.