Aid groups ready to move in when Gaza ceasefire begins

22 November 2023, 16:14

Israel Palestinians
Israel Palestinians. Picture: PA

Details are unclear about both the mechanics of getting more aid for Palestinians in Gaza and the possible release of hostages kidnapped from Israel.

International aid groups that have lined up thousands of aid lorries for Gaza say they are ready to move quickly to send in food, water and other supplies if a pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel takes hold as hoped on Thursday.

Details remain unclear about both the mechanics of getting more aid for beleaguered Palestinians in Gaza and the possible release of hostages kidnapped from Israel whose families have desperately sought their release.

The aid groups say a key ambition will be to get help to northern Gaza, which has been largely inaccessible to humanitarian shipments and where nearly all hospitals have stopped working amid a blistering military campaign by Israeli forces.

Israel Palestinians
A woman looks at photographs of hostages, mostly Israeli civilians (Oded Balilty/AP)

“The entire humanitarian sector is ready to scale up once everything is set,” said Tommaso Della Longa, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, referring to the fine print of the announced deal.

Mr Della Longa lamented “bottlenecks” that have confounded the deliveries of some humanitarian aid, though not nearly enough, into Gaza.

He said IFRC hopes that a deal would include provisions to allow for a “faster track” of aid shipments.

The only route for international humanitarian aid into Gaza since October 7 has been through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt, and planeloads of supplies have been flown into the nearby Egyptian city of El-Arish and lorries have queued up near Gaza.

Intense Israeli inspections of lorries and cargo have slowed entry into Gaza.

By Press Association

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