Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – New York Times

Aid officials cautiously welcomed news that Israel would further expand aid routes to Gaza, and on Friday made it clear that the United States was dependent on aid to Israel, leaving no doubt as to when new measures would come. He said he would wait to see how it takes effect. Next step.

As the United Nations warns that famine is looming, Israel is under increasing pressure from U.S. officials and humanitarian agencies to increase its entry into Gaza to provide assistance.

On Thursday, President Biden threatened to condition future aid to Israel on how it addresses concerns about civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation, hours later the Israeli government announced additional support routes, including routes through checkpoints. Israel and northern Gaza.

But the Israeli statement provided few details, and it was not immediately clear when those new routes would open or how much aid could pass through them. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Friday that the United States is “trying to determine” whether Israel will allow more aid to the enclave and prioritize “getting it to the people who need it.”

He said one measure of Israel’s commitment to that goal would be “the number of trucks that are actually sustained.”

“The real test will be the results,” he told a press conference in Brussels on Friday.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said the news about expanded aid channels was positive.

“But of course we have to see how this is implemented,” he added.

The European Commission called for the measures to be implemented quickly and “fully”, while the World Food Program on Friday said it was working with Israeli authorities “to ensure that we can move quickly to take advantage of new opportunities for food supply”. “We will seek to clarify security and logistics arrangements.”more Gazans when hunger spreads. ”

The agency noted that it has been urging Israel to open more railroad crossings for months.

Since the start of the war, Israel has confined aid to Gaza to two tightly controlled border crossings in the enclave’s south, Kerem Shalom and Rafah.

Most of Gaza’s international aid passes through an Egyptian warehouse near El Arish, not far from the city of Rafah, which straddles the border with Gaza. Some aid is also being delivered through channels other than Jordan.

Trucks carrying aid from El Arish normally undergo security checks in Rafah on the Egyptian side of the border.

Aid agencies face challenges at every step of the distribution process, from lengthy Israeli inspections at border crossings to violence during distribution to Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip.

Israeli checks on goods entering Gaza are aimed at weeding out items that could be used by Hamas. Aid officials say the inspection process is causing significant delays, but Israel blames the bottlenecks on disruption by humanitarian groups and diversion of shipments by Hamas.

Blinken said Friday that the U.S. is considering another indicator to see if “bottlenecks and delays at other intersections are being resolved.”

The worst shortages are in northern Gaza, where hungry people are flocking to food trucks and aid groups say they are struggling to get supplies due to Israeli restrictions and widespread illegality. .

Israel is promoting efforts to deliver aid to Gaza by land, air and sea. But aid groups are calling on Israel to open more road crossings, including Erez on its northern border. These aid groups argue that only a flood of food can help stem the hunger crisis, and that truck convoys are the most efficient way to deliver aid.

Matina Stevis-Gridnev and Gaya gupta Contributed to the report.

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