Israel says will allow ‘temporary’ aid through northern Gaza border

JERUSALEM: Israel will allow “temporary” aid deliveries via its border with the northern Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Friday, hours after a warning from US President Joe Biden.
“Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod and the Erez checkpoint,” the statement from the prime minister’s office said, referring to a port about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Gaza and a land crossing.
“This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war,” it added.
The announcement comes as international pressure mounts on Israel after it took responsibility for a strike that killed seven employees of US-based charity World Central Kitchen.
In a tense, 30-minute call with Netanyahu on Thursday, Biden described the Israeli strike as “unacceptable and called for an “immediate ceasefire”.
He also “made clear that US policy” will be determined by Israel taking “specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers”, according to a White House statement.
Directly after Israel’s announcement, the White House welcomed the moves to “increase aid flow to Gaza”, and called for them to be “fully and rapidly implemented”.
Gaza has been under Israeli blockade since the start of the war, with the United Nations accusing Israel of preventing humanitarian aid deliveries and warning of “catastrophic” levels of hunger.
Israel has denied throttling aid deliveries.
The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 33,037 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.
According to Friday’s statement, the Israeli authorities will also allow “increased Jordanian aid through Kerem Shalom”, a border crossing in southern Israel.

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