Rafah, Egypt, Oct. 22 (EFE).- The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza reopened on Saturday to deliver a second batch of urgently needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn Palestinian enclave.
Gaza, under an intense Israeli blockade that was further tightened after the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Islamist Hamas group erupted on Oct,7, is facing grave shortages of food, medicine, and water.
Local media reported that 17 trucks filled with humanitarian aid crossed the border point.
Egyptian television channel Al Qahera News broadcast the departure of the 17 trucks at Rafah, bound for Gaza.
Volunteers who had been at the crossing for several days told EFE that the trucks were carrying “mostly medicines, water, and food.”
Television footage showed aid workers cheering enthusiastically and hoisting the Egyptian flag as the trucks left for Gaza.
Hundreds of trucks, loaded with thousands of tons of vital relief supplies for Gaza, had queued up for days, even as Israeli military strikes pounded the enclave in an effort to dismantle the Hamas network.
The crossing was initially opened on Sunday when 20 trucks headed into Gaza to deliver aid after the strip had endured two weeks of devastating Israeli bombardments and had been subjected to a crippling blockade for the past 15 years.
However, the passage was quickly closed again after the aid trucks returned from Gaza to the Egyptian side.
The strip, home to 2.3 million people, including 1.4 million who were internally displaced by Israel’s bombings in the north, is in dire need of aid, with thousands having lost their lives and many more wounded in the Israeli military campaign.
The humanitarian effort offers a glimmer of hope amid the ongoing challenges faced by the people of Gaza.
In the last 16 days of the conflict, more than 4,400 Palestinians in Gaza have lost their lives due to Israeli airstrikes, with over 70 percent of the victims being minors, women, and the elderly.
The Middle East conflict escalated after hundreds of Hamas militants launched a surprise multi-pronged attack on Israel on Oct.7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 Israelis. EFE