El-Sisi and Biden agree to send aid to Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem crossing | Israel-Palestine Conflict News

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed in a phone call with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, to allow United Nations aid through the Karem Abu Salem border crossing (known in Israel as Kerem Shalom) to the bombed and besieged Gaza Strip. says the White House.

“President Biden welcomed President El-Sisi’s commitment to allow the flow of humanitarian assistance provided by the UN” through the crossing, he said in a readout of the call, adding: “This will help save lives.”

The aid will be sent to Gaza through the crossing – located where the borders of Egypt, Israel and Gaza meet – until legal mechanisms are established to reopen the crucial Rafah border crossing from the Palestinian side, the Egyptian presidency said.

The agreement was the result of “the difficult humanitarian situation of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the lack of livelihoods in the Strip and the lack of fuel needed for hospitals and bakeries,” the statement said.

The measure was also confirmed by the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, according to the Wafa news agency.

According to the White House statement, Biden expressed “his full commitment to supporting efforts to reopen the Rafah crossing with arrangements acceptable to both Egypt and Israel.” The statement said she agreed to send a high-level team to Cairo next week to continue talks.

Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on May 6, shortly after launching a widely criticized ground and air offensive in the area where tens of thousands of displaced families had sought refuge.

The resulting shutdown has created an aid backlog in Egypt, where some food aid has begun to rot.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, D.C., said it’s “not at all a big surprise” that the crossing has been secured.

“What has been happening is that, behind the scenes for several weeks, we have been told that talks have been taking place between Israel, Egypt and American officials to reach some type of agreement to try to achieve some type of opening. to facilitate the arrival of help,” Halkett said.

“The goal really, from the United States’ point of view, is to try to get a neutral third party… to try to take control of the Rafah crossing, and that seems to be where the obstacle is,” Halkett added.

Aid agencies and human rights groups, including several UN bodies, have warned that dwindling supplies in Gaza will lead to famine and further worsen an already dire humanitarian crisis.

Before the closure of the Rafah crossing, much-needed humanitarian aid and fuel supplies were arriving in the territory. The shortage has caused multiple hospitals to cease operations and has affected much of northern Gaza, where famine has spread to some devastated areas.

Earlier on Friday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that access to the Gaza Strip is extremely limited, with fewer than 1,000 truckloads of humanitarian assistance entering the enclave since May 7. , the day the Israeli offensive in Rafah began.

“There are many gateways to Gaza. … Whether by land or by sea, we do not control those gates, but we want them all to be open,” UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Thursday.

Friday’s announcement came as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah and open the border crossing to receive aid.

“The humanitarian situation must now be described as disastrous,” the ICJ, also known as the World Court, said on Friday. He also demanded access to Gaza for war crimes investigators.

More than a million Palestinians have fled Rafah in recent weeks as Israeli forces advance toward Gaza’s southernmost city. People displaced by fighting lack shelter, food, water and other essentials to survive, the UN says.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said 35,857 Palestinians have been killed and 80,293 wounded in the Israeli attack on the enclave since October 7. The war began after Hamas-led attacks in southern Israel killed 1,139 people.

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