Vital medical assistance entered Gaza, a portion of which will be used for captives, as part of a Qatar and France brokered agreement between Israel and Hamas.
Humanitarian aid for civilians and medicines for captives entered Gaza on Wednesday under a deal mediated by Doha and Paris, Qatar announced.
Earlier, two Qatari planes carrying medicines arrived on Wednesday in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, near the Rafah border crossing, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.
The assistance includes medicines provided by Qatar and France, along with food items provided by Qatar Charity, bringing the total number of aircraft to 63 with a total quantity of 1,958 tonnes of aid.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Majed al-Ansari, said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the medicinal shipment had successfully crossed into Gaza.
In his statement, Al-Ansari said, “Over the past few hours, medicine & aid entered the Gaza Strip, in implementation of the agreement announced yesterday for the benefit of civilians in the Strip, including hostages.”
However, Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Rafah, southern Gaza, said the humanitarian aid trucks allowed into southern Gaza “were not enough to meet people’s desperate needs.”
“It is incredibly difficult because the amount of humanitarian relief coming in is so little compared to the needs of more than 1.9 million displaced Palestinians,” the reporter said, adding that the situation is even worse in the north where “there is intense famine that is getting more dire each day.”
A World Health Organization official on Wednesday described dire conditions in the Gaza Strip’s remaining hospitals, where patients are “waiting to die” due to extreme shortages of staff and supplies.
Emergency medical team coordinator Sean Casey said that during some five weeks he spent in the war-torn Palestinian territory, he saw hospital patients “every day with severe burns, with open fractures waiting hours or days” for treatment.
“They would often ask me for food or water, that demonstrates the level of desperation that we see,” Casey told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
This comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that “Israel’s military engagement in Gaza could extend until 2025.”
This statement was made during a meeting with Israeli chiefs from settlements and kibbutzes near Gaza, at the southern command headquarters in Beersheba.
Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s determination to continue its military campaign — which commenced on October 7 and has killed over 24,000 people in Gaza — until Hamas is completely defeated.
The ongoing assault has led to the displacement of almost all of Gaza’s residents, exacerbating the risk of famine and disease.
Israel’s restriction on aid entry and the evacuation of those requiring urgent medical attention have aggravated the crisis in the Strip.