OAN’s Abril Elfi
9:30 AM – Saturday, October 21, 2023
Twenty humanitarian relief trucks delivering food and medical supplies have entered Gaza.
On Saturday, UNICEF announced it was able to drive enough water supplies for 22,000 people for one day across Egypt’s Rafah border crossing into Gaza.
“Over 44,000 bottles of drinking water supplied by UNICEF – just enough for 22,000 people for 1 day – were driven through the Rafah Crossing today as part of a 20-truck convoy with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme,” the UNICEF statement said.
UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russel stated that the delivery of water is a “matter of life and death” for the 1 million children in Gaza “facing a critical protection and humanitarian crisis.”
“This first, limited water will save lives, but the needs are immediate and immense – not just for water, but for food, fuel, medicine, and essential goods and services,” Russel said. “Unless we can provide humanitarian supplies consistently, we face the real threat of life-threatening disease outbreaks.”
More than 200 trucks are still waiting outside the Egypt-Israel border, ready to transport 3,000 tons of water, food, and medical supplies into Gaza.
Before allowing further supplies, the Israeli government has demanded assurance that Hamas does not seize humanitarian aid.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that Hamas should not receive aid but that Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas attacks and therefore should not suffer because of it.
“Hamas must not interfere with the provision of this life-saving assistance,” Blinken said. “Palestinian civilians are not responsible for Hamas’s horrific terrorism, and they should not be made to suffer for its depraved acts. As President Biden stated, if Hamas steals or diverts this assistance it will have demonstrated once again that it has no regard for the welfare of the Palestinian people and as a practical matter it will hinder the international community from being able to provide this aid.”
According to a United Nations spokesman on Saturday, “verification procedures are still under discussion.”
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