Home NewsAmerica Aid into Gaza is but “a drop in the ocean” amidst escalating Israeli airstrikes

Aid into Gaza is but “a drop in the ocean” amidst escalating Israeli airstrikes

by Luqmaan Rawat
Gaza is facing an onslaught while the world watches on Photo Twitter/@Timesofgaza

Gaza – The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza was opened on Saturday to allow a limited amount of essential aid to reach Palestinians facing severe shortages of food, medicine, and water in the territory under Israeli siege. A convoy, comprising 20 aid trucks, entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt. However, the aid is an appalling mismatch to the dire reality Gazans face.

In the past three days, 34 trucks have managed to enter Gaza. To underscore the gravity of this situation, before the siege commenced, several hundred trucks used to arrive daily. This limited aid delivery follows a week-long negotiation between Egypt, the US, and Israel on conditions to permit crucial humanitarian aid, actions that have been condemned as violations of international human rights and potentially constituting crimes against humanity. These relief efforts come on the heels of Israel’s egregious acts, including cutting off water, food, and electricity, actions that not only breach international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions but also amount to war crimes, according to UN experts.

The conditions attached to aid delivery is the prohibition of any benefits to Hamas. Should it be found they are benefitting or using the aid in any way, Israel has warned they will not hesitate to cut off aid. Given that Hamas is the governing entity in Gaza, the question arises: who will be responsible for the aid distribution? Every official department falls under Hamas’ political umbrella, raising concerns about the practicality of implementing these conditions. Palestinian journalist, Bisan Wizard, argues these restrictions appear designed to serve as a pretext, enabling Israel to claim humanitarian efforts while effectively preventing the people of Gaza from accessing the aid they desperately need.




Currently, there are more than 200 trucks waiting to enter Gaza carrying 3 000 tons of aid. Martin Griffiths, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, welcomed the delivery, saying it followed “days of deep and intense negotiations with all relevant sides to make sure that aid operation into Gaza resumes as quickly as possible and with the right conditions”.

“I am confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies – including food, water, medicine and fuel – to the people of Gaza, in a safe, dependable, unconditional and unimpeded manner,” he added.

Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, in an interview with the UN has called for aid to be more consistent and sustained. These trucks are not nearly enough to help the 2.3 million people living in Gaza.

“We were able to include two UNICEF trucks in the convoy with drinking water, 40,000 litres. It’s a drop in the ocean – literally, almost – and that will allow us to reach about 27,000 people with one day’s supply of drinking water.  So, a very, very small amount went through today which reinforces the urgent need to have a sustained humanitarian corridor that is open for supplies. And, of course, we hope that there will be additional border posts opening so that the necessary supplies can get in.”


No fuel to Gaza

Sending aid into Gaza has become incredibly challenging due to Israel’s stringent inspection protocols, with every container and truck entering Gaza subject to thorough checks. A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office confirmed Israel would not send aid and would block the entry of aid from other countries without oversight and aid is only being sent to Southern Gaza where Israel has told residents to evacuate to.

While essential supplies such as food, water, and medical items are permitted, Israeli Defence Force spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari emphasised that “fuel will not enter Gaza”. This is a major concern for the people of Gaza and the relief agencies providing essential services. 

Gaza has been cut off from electricity. On Sunday, Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant shut down due to fuel running out. Furthermore, residents need to fill up tanks to access water. Without fuel, it has become possible to fill up any trucks or get any pumps working to get access to water.

Those hospitals which haven’t been bombed by Israel are now close to shutting down. Several hospitals are currently completely out of service. Those that remained open had to shut off vital departments in order to save fuel. Doctors are now having to choose who to save and who to leave to die. The World Health Organization has called on Israel to allow fuel into Gaza in order to save those who can be saved.

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More aid is needed and needed now 

Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the Labour Party, speaking at a Palestinian protest called for more aid to enter Gaza and at a much quicker constant rate. 

“Twenty vehicles for the desperate needs of two million people. There are more trucks that are delivering food to supermarkets on the Holloway Road in my constituency everyday than there are for two million people in Gaza. It is not even 5% of their needs. Water is now so short that the average person in Gaza, if they are lucky, get one and a half litres a day for everything. That is what is now happening.”

Corbyn also expressed concerns about Israel forcing residents to move South, closer and closer to the Rafah crossing. Egypt has already said they will not allow those in Gaza to come in which could cause hundreds of thousands to live out in the Sinai desert.

“The strategy of driving the Gazan population further and further South building up in this massive force of people at the Rafa crossing. Whatever Egypt says, at some point those people are going to cross and they are going to be in the Sinai and are we going to see the creation of another Gaza. This is appalling.”

Hopkins echoed the statements of Corbyn saying, 

“What went in today cannot cover the needs at all. It’s a very tiny, tiny proportion of what is needed. We need to have instead of 20 trucks a day at least 100, 200 trucks going in per  day – that of course depends on what is on the trucks, but approximately speaking – with food, water, medicine and fuel. That is a necessary condition for us to be able to respond to the humanitarian lifesaving requirements and needs right now.”

Cindy McCain, the executive director of the World Food Programme, speaking to Al Jazeera stressed that unless additional aid is allowed into Gaza, the situation could deteriorate even more profoundly. With so many basic essentials running out or finished “that combination is not only catastrophic but can lead to more starvation and disease as well”.

Not losing sight of the main issue while aid trucks come in

While fighting for more aid trucks to come in is vital, the world must not loose its sight on the real objective, ending the Israeli genocide. Wizard, her eyes filled with tears, speaks from the depths of her heart, calling for the world to not get distracted by the aid trucks and continue to ask for the genocide to be stopped.

“The entering of the hummanitarian aid trucks is not the central issue. Try to focus and not move the concentration from ending the war, that targets civillians, children, kills everybody inside Gaza Strip to whether hummanitarian aid trucks to enter or not. If these trucks lessen the problem for two days, what will happen after two days? Our needs are to end the war, leave the people to go back to their homes, if they have homes, give medical supplies and medical care to those who are injured and might possibly die if they are not given medical help.”



According to those in Gaza, the situation continues to get worse. Israel has intensified their airstrikes in the past two days killing more than 5 000 people, 2 055 being children, 1 119 being women and more than a thousand still lost. The IDF has also started sending troops into Gaza in small squadrons with the likelihood of a full ground invasion on the horizon. 

While many have called for a ceasefire, The Security Council failed to adopt a resolution put forth by the Russian Federation that would have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The delegations of France, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom voted against it, and the remaining six Council members abstained from voting. 

As Gaza teeters on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, the aid, though paraded as a beacon of hope, serves more as a cruel illusion than a genuine lifeline. The reality remains bleak: over 200 trucks, laden with 3,000 tons of aid, are left languishing at the border. As Israel’s onslaught continues, aid is likely to still trickle in as conditions get worse and worse.

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