Israel announces 'tactical pause' in fighting to allow more aid into southern Gaza

16 June 2024, 07:47

Israel has paused fighting to allow more aid into southern Gaza
Israel has paused fighting to allow more aid into southern Gaza. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Israel has announced a "tactical pause" in the fighting in southern Gaza to allow more aid to be brought into the territory.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The IDF said the pause would start at 8am (6am UK time) and last until 7pm (5pm UK time). They said it would continue every day until further notice.

It comes after the military announced on Saturday that eight Israeli soldiers had been killed in southern Gaza.

The IDF said the pause would allow aid trucks to get to the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main entry point for incoming aid, which is controlled by Israel and travel safely to the Salah a-Din highway, a main north-south road, to deliver supplies to other parts of Gaza.

The pause has suffered from a bottleneck since Israeli troops moved into Rafah, the south Gaza city, in early May.

Read more: Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Read more: UN Security Council backs US Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan

Aid arriving in Rafah
Aid arriving in Rafah. Picture: Getty

Israel said the pause was being coordinated with the UN and other international agencies.

Israel's war with Hamas, which they launched after the terrorists killed 1,200 Israelis and took 240 hostages on October 7, has plunged much of Gaza into a humanitarian crisis.

Hamas-controlled local authorities say that around 37,000 people have died in the territory over the past eight months. Many more have been injured and hundreds of thousands more are on the brink of famine.

The amount of aid that reaches Gaza has gone down significantly in recent weeks.

From May 6 until June 6, the UN received an average of 68 trucks of aid a day. That was down from 168 a day in April and far below the 500 trucks a day that aid groups say are needed.

Meanwhile months of ceasefire negotiations have failed to find common ground between Israeli and Hamas.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Hamas proposed changes to a US-backed plan, some of which he said were "workable" and some not, without elaborating.

Benny Gantz resigns from Israel's war cabinet

Cogat, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, says there are no restrictions on the entry of trucks. It says more than 8,600 trucks of all kinds, both aid and commercial, entered Gaza from all crossings from May 2 to June 13, an average of 201 a day. But much of that aid has piled up at the crossings and not reached its final destination.

A spokesman for Cogat, Shimon Freedman, said it was the UN's fault that its cargos stacked up on the Gaza side of Kerem Shalom. He said the agencies have "fundamental logistical problems that they have not fixed", especially a lack of trucks.

The UN denies such allegations. It says the fighting between Israel and Hamas often makes it too dangerous for UN trucks inside Gaza to travel to Kerem Shalom, which is right next to Israel's border.

A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment over Khan Yunis in February
A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing during Israeli bombardment over Khan Yunis in February. Picture: Getty

It also says the pace of deliveries has been slowed because the Israeli military must authorize drivers to travel to the site, a system Israel says was designed for the drivers' safety. Due to a lack of security, aid trucks in some cases have also been looted by crowds as they moved along Gaza's roads.

The new arrangement aims to reduce the need for co-ordinating deliveries by providing an 11-hour uninterrupted window each day for trucks to move in and out of the crossing.

It was not clear whether the army would provide security to protect the aid trucks as they move along the highway.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Spanish Civil Guard said Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, could have fallen in a steep and inaccessible area

Jay Slater's best friend Lucy Law pays heartbreaking tribute to 'happiest' person after his ‘deteriorated’ body found

Victoria Thomas-Bowen appears at Westminster Magistrates' Court today after Nigel Farage was drenched in a banana flavoured drink

OnlyFans model, 25, to stand trial after denying throwing a McDonald’s milkshake over Nigel Farage

Jay Slater was 'killed instantly' after falling from height in Tenerife family believe

Body found in hunt for Jay Slater was 'very deteriorated' as Tenerife officials reveal key details

Prince William hailed Southgate as a "true leader" in a touching tribute to the coach.

'A class act': Will and Kate share touching tribute to Gareth Southgate as England boss resigns

Swansea, 9th August 2016. Picture by Robert Melen. Vaughan Gething, cabinet secretary for health, Well-being and sport.

Vaughan Gething to quit as Welsh First Minister

Basildon Remains In Top Three Worst Areas For Covid Infections

Manhunt launched after woman stabbed and robbed in car park of hospital by masked knifeman

Gareth Southgate is to leave his role as England manager

Read in Full: Gareth Southgate's emotional statement resigning as England manager

Gareth Southgate quits as England manager after Euro 2024 final defeat

'It's been the honour of my life': Gareth Southgate quits as England manager after Euro 2024 final defeat

A 25-year-old Brit is missing in Sardinia

Urgent hunt for missing Brit, 25, in Sardinia as desperate mum issues plea after he 'undressed and vanished'

They say he should resign after losing a vote of no confidence.

Four members of Welsh government quit amid calls for First Minister Vaughan Gething to resign

Jay Slater was 'killed instantly' after falling from height in Tenerife family believe

Jay Slater was 'killed instantly' after falling from height in Tenerife, family believe

Emergency services at the scene in Napier Road, East Ham

Third child confirmed dead after house fire in London as two remain in hospital

Joanne Tulip was murdered by Stephen Ling in 1997

'Sadistic' killer who stabbed woman 60 times during sex to face public parole hearing

Exclusive
Labour Treasury Secretary says he 'doesn't know' what JD Vance meant when he joked the UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons'

Treasury Sec 'doesn't know' what JD Vance meant by joke UK could be 'first Islamist country to have nuclear weapons'

Feltham Young offenders Institute.

Children's jail branded 'most violent prison in Britain' by watchdog

Zara McDermott said she "wrestled with the fear of opening up" about her time on Strictly Come Dancing

Zara McDermott breaks silence after Strictly partner Graziano Di Prima 'sacked' following misconduct claims