Defence chief says Israel to 'flood Gaza with aid'

TEL AVIV – Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on April 11 it is planning to flood starving Gaza with aid through a new crossing and a port just north of the besieged territory.

With Israel under severe international pressure to allow more food in, Mr Gallant said it planned to ramp up aid deliveries to 500 trucks a day – the pre-war figure cited by the United Nations (UN).

“We plan to flood Gaza with aid and we are expecting to reach 500 trucks per day,” Mr Gallant told reporters.

He also vowed to “streamline security checks” that aid organisations had blamed for choking the flow through six months of war.

Israel promised last week it would open the Erez crossing in the north after a tense telephone call between Mr Joe Biden and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu in which the US president demanded “immediate action” on aid.

But it is understood the trucks will not use the crossing with Israeli media reporting that the government feared protests from far-right groups who are against any aid reaching Gaza.

Another route is being planned, Mr Gallant said, to “reduce pressure on (the) Kerem Shalom” crossing further south. He did not say when it would happen.

Humanitarian groups have accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza, where UN experts say half the population is facing “catastrophic” food insecurity.

Israel denies the charges and has repeatedly blamed the UN and aid organisations for the distribution problems.

Mr Gallant told reporters that Israel planned to bring the Port of Ashdod, half an hour north of Gaza, on stream shortly.

A new northern crossing that would bring aid directly to Gaza City and surrounding areas where hunger is greatest is also being prepared, he said.

Two routes were also being organised with Jordan, where up to 150 trucks would be checked there before crossing into Israel, he said.

Mr Gallant said Israel had more than doubled the daily average of aid trucks crossing into Gaza over the last few days.

“We saw a record number of 467 trucks and 303 air-dropped packages on April 9. Last month, the daily average was 213 and before that it was 170,” he said.

The war in Gaza was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,482 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory. AFP


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.