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

A series of Israeli strikes have been launched against the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah in Yemen

Israel launches series of air strikes on Houthi-controlled city in Yemen day after group claim deadly attack on Tel Aviv

Jay Slater and his mum, Debbie Duncan

Jay Slater's GoFundMe page hits £70k after teen's mum appeals for funeral donations

Holidaymakers have been left stranded during global IT outage

'We're not being given any information': Furious holidaymaker stranded in Rhodes tells of travel hell after IT outage

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Further unrest in Leeds as hundreds take to streets to 'demand return of children' allegedly removed from local family

NHS England has warned of "continued disruption" to GP services into next week.

NHS warns of GP disruption after global IT outage as trains, planes and roads remain in chaos leaving Brits stranded

Planes, trains and roads have been hit by travel chaos following Friday's IT outage.

Holiday hell: Trains, planes and roads in chaos after global IT outage - with thousands of Brits stranded abroad

Graham Gomm

Prisoner who escaped custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during hospital trip is arrested following manhunt

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader