The PRCS said 106 aid trucks entered Gaza through Rafah on Wednesday
Four Qatari aid flights carrying 180 tonnes of aid for Gaza departed the Al Udeid Air Base on Thursday to head towards Egypt’s Al Arish Airport, as the besieged Palestinian enclave’s 2.3 million population grapples with an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
The four planes are carrying food, medical aid, and shelter supplies that are provided by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), and Qatar Charity (QC).
“The aid is part of the State of Qatar’s full support to the brotherly Palestinian people amid the difficult humanitarian conditions due to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza Strip,” the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Qatar sent three aid flights to Egypt last month that carried a total of 124 tonnes of food and medical aid. QRCS began distributing the aid on October 25 to about 1,875 beneficiaries from displaced families who were sheltering at the Al Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza.
Gaza is currently witnessing a growing humanitarian catastrophe in light of the month-long Israeli bombardment that has been exacerbated by a complete siege on the Palestinian enclave.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children and displaced at least one million more within a month.
The bombardment, coupled with a complete Israeli siege on Gaza, has led to dire humanitarian conditions on the ground, where millions of Palestinians have been struggling to survive.
Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to drink and bathe in salty water from the sea in Gaza due to the absence of desalinated water. Journalists on the ground documenting the horrors on the ground have also been charging their equipment using car batteries.
Meanwhile, the health sector in Gaza has also collapsed due to a lack of medical resources and electricity. More than one-third of hospitals and nearly two-third of primary healthcare centres have shut down, as per UN figures.
A limited amount of aid has been trickling in through the Rafah crossing though hundreds of tonnes of aid have remained stacked up for weeks in Egypt awaiting the greenlight to enter Gaza.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said 106 trucks had entered Gaza through Rafah on Wednesday, making the total trucks that entered the Strip since its opening 756—none containing fuel.
The PRCS and global humanitarian entities have said that the amount of aid is still below the required needs of Gaza’s 2.3 million population.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Doha renewed its calls for “an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza and and demanded the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing during a call between Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
A statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry detailing the call said Sheikh Mohammed reiterated “the need for concerted regional and international diplomatic efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire, and to permanently open the Rafah crossing.”
The senior Qatari official also stressed the need to keep the shared Gaza-Egypt crossing open “to ensure the flow of relief convoys and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian brothers besieged in the Gaza Strip.”
“He [Sheikh Mohammed] also voiced the State of Qatar’s deep concern about the catastrophic deterioration of humanitarian conditions in Gaza Strip, and its condemnation of the bombing of civilians and civilian establishments,” the statement added.