CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian security and humanitarian sources said that a second convoy of aid trucks entered the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing on Sunday, heading to the Gaza Strip.
Shortly after the convoy entered the crossing, eyewitnesses said that an explosion was heard in the vicinity of the crossing, and the sounds of ambulances were heard spreading from the Egyptian side. The cause of the explosion and its exact location were not immediately clear.
The sources said that about 19 trucks in Sunday’s convoy loaded with medical and food supplies were inspected by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The first convoy of 20 trucks carrying much-needed supplies entered Gaza on Saturday through the Rafah crossing, which was previously out of service after bombing on the Gaza side of the border and amid disagreements over the terms of aid delivery.
Distribution of supplies began on Sunday, but aid officials are still warning of a humanitarian catastrophe as supplies of food, water and fuel run low.
Israel imposed a comprehensive blockade and launched air strikes on Gaza in response to a deadly attack by Hamas on Israeli territory on October 7.
The Rafah crossing, the main entry and exit point into Gaza that does not lead to Israel, has become the focus of efforts to deliver aid as the humanitarian conditions in Gaza deteriorate.
UN officials say at least 100 trucks are needed daily in Gaza to cover urgent needs. Before the outbreak of the latest conflict, several hundred trucks arrived in the enclave daily.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths told Reuters on Saturday that work was underway to develop a “light” inspection system through which Israel could inspect shipments while ensuring a continuous flow.
(Reporting by Yousry Muhammad and Nidal al-Mughrabi – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Written by Nafisa al-Taher and Aidan Lewis; Edited by John Stonestreet and David Holmes
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