Israel-Hamas War: US, Egypt Agree On Gaza Aid Deal

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US President Joe Biden asserted that his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed to allow an initial group of 20 trucks with humanitarian aid into Gaza by Friday amid the ongoing war between Israel forces and Hamas militants. However, the US president noted that if Hamas militants confiscate the aid.

Joe Biden mentioned that Abdel Fattah el-Sisi agreed that he would open the gates to let up to 20 trucks through to begin with. He added that this has been a very blunt negotiation he have had, and so they want to get as many of the trucks out as possible. He added that the commitment is if Egyptian authorities cross the border, the UN is going to be on the other side and then distribute it. He underlined that if Hamas confiscates it or doesn’t let it get through, then it’s going to end because they are not going to be sending any humanitarian aid to Hamas, which is going to be confiscated.

Notably, getting humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza was one of Joe Biden’s top goals in his trip to the Middle East. Nonetheless, the effort suffered a setback when Arab leaders, including Sisi, rejected a planned meeting with the US President in Jordan following a deadly hospital blast in Gaza, which Arab nations blamed on Israel. Later, Joe Biden wrote on social media X that he spoke to Sisi to deepen coordination on urgently delivering humanitarian assistance.

The al-Ahli hospital blast at Gaza claimed the lives of nearly 500 people and put immense strain on the already-struggling medical system. Meanwhile, Israel on Wednesday said that it will allow Egypt to deliver limited humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Reportedly, the first crack in a punishing 10-day siege on the territory came even as the fury over the blast spread across the Middle East.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has agreed to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza to allow a convoy of around 20 humanitarian aid trucks through, US President Joe Biden has said.

“He agreed to… let up to 20 trucks through to begin with,” Mr Biden said after calling Mr Sisi from Air Force One while returning from Israel.

The shipment would likely not cross until Friday, as the road at the crossing needed repairs, Mr Biden said.

The first 20 trucks will be a test of a system for distributing aid without allowing Hamas to benefit, the US president said.

“If Hamas confiscates it or doesn’t let it get through or just confiscates it, then it’s going to end, because we’re not going to be sending any humanitarian aid to Hamas if they’re going to be confiscating it. That’s the commitment that I’ve made,” Mr Biden said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the decision was approved after a request from Mr Biden. It said Israel “will not thwart” deliveries of food, water or medicine from Egypt, as long as they are limited to civilians in the south of the Gaza Strip and don’t go to Hamas militants.

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