Top NewsIsraeli military announces 'tactical pause' to increase aid flow...

Israeli military announces ‘tactical pause’ to increase aid flow into Gaza


JERUSALEM – The Israeli military on Sunday announced a “tactical pause” in its offensive in the southern Gaza Strip, allowing for a greater flow of humanitarian aid.

The military said the suspension will be in effect in the Rafah area from 8 am (0500 GMT, 1 am Eastern) until 7 pm (1600 GMT, noon Eastern). It said these suspensions will continue every day until further notice.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said: X The suspensions did not end the army’s offensive. “No ceasefire in southern Gaza, fighting continues in Rafah.”

The suspension is aimed at allowing aid trucks to reach the nearby Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, the main gateway for incoming aid, and safely travel to the Salah al-Din highway, a key north-south road to deliver supplies to others. Parts of Gaza, the military said. It said the suspension was being coordinated with the UN and international aid agencies.

The crossing has been problematic since Israeli ground forces moved into Rafah in early May.

COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, said the route would increase the flow of aid to other parts of Gaza, including Khan Younis, Muwasi and central Gaza. Supplies enter a crossroads in the north, hard-hit northern Gaza, an early target of the war.

The military said Sunday’s suspension, which marks the main Eid al-Adha holiday for Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, came after discussions with the United Nations and international aid agencies.

Following criticism of the move by extremists in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government who oppose a ceasefire, the military said there was no end to fighting in other parts of southern Gaza and no change in aid flows in general.

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Aid agencies, including the UN, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. UN for Palestinians Scott Anderson, director of Gaza affairs for the agency, told CNN he hoped the moratorium would “bring much-needed aid to the people.”

The standoff on the southern route comes as Israel and Hamas weigh the latest cease-fire proposal, the most concentrated diplomatic push by the administration described by President Joe Biden to end the fighting and release the hostages. By the militant group. Although Biden has described the plan as an Israeli plan, Israel has not fully embraced it and Hamas has demanded changes unacceptable to Israel.

The fighting continues unabated, and Israel on Sunday announced the names of a total of 11 soldiers killed in recent attacks in Gaza, including one who died of wounds sustained in an attack last week. The number of soldiers killed since Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza last year has reached 308.

Israeli officials say Hamas killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostage during its October 7 attack. More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting in Hamas-run Gaza, health officials say.

Israel’s eight-month military offensive against Hamas, triggered by the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack, has plunged Gaza into a humanitarian crisis, the U.N. It declared widespread starvation and hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of starvation.

The international community has urged Israel to do more to defuse the crisis Continue fightingAid deliveries have been complicated throughout the war, including in Rafah.

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From May 6 to June 6, the UN received an average of 68 truckloads of aid per day, according to figures from the UN humanitarian office, OCHA. That was up from 168 a day in April and far short of the 500 trucks a day aid groups say they need.

Aid flows to southern Gaza have slowed as humanitarian needs have increased. More than 1 million Palestinians, many of whom have already been displaced. He fled Rafah after the invasion, gathering in other parts of southern and central Gaza. Most now languish in squatter tent camps with open sewage on the streets, using ditches as latrines.

COGAT says there is no entry barrier for trucks. From May 2 to June 13, 8,600 trucks of all types, both aid and commercial, entered Gaza, an average of 201 per day. But much of that aid piled up at crossroads and never reached its final destination.

Shimon Friedman, spokesman for COGAT, said Kerem Shalom’s stockpile of its cargo in the Gaza Strip was the UN’s fault. He said the agencies have “fundamental logistical problems that have not been fixed,” particularly a shortage of trucks.

The UN denies such allegations. Clashes between Israel and Hamas, UN inside Gaza This makes it extremely dangerous for trucks to get to Kerem Shalom, next to the border with Israel.

It also says deliveries have slowed because the Israeli military must authorize drivers to get to the site, a system Israel says is designed to protect drivers. Due to insecurity, aid trucks have in some cases been looted by mobs as they pass through Gaza’s roads.

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The new arrangement aims to reduce the need to coordinate deliveries by providing an 11-hour uninterrupted window each day where trucks can move in and out of the crossing.

It was not immediately clear whether the army would provide security for aid trucks on the highway.

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