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Israel Implements Daily Pause in Gaza Fighting to Allow Aid Delivery Amid Ongoing Conflict

Israel Implements Daily Pause in Gaza Fighting to Allow Aid Delivery Amid Ongoing Conflict
Israel Implements Daily Pause in Gaza Fighting to Allow Aid Delivery Amid Ongoing Conflict

The Israeli military has announced a daily “tactical pause” along a route in southern Gaza to allow aid distribution, starting Saturday, but stressed that the fighting in and around Rafah would continue.

This pause, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, aims to enable trucks to move aid from the Kerem Shalom Crossing, the main entry point, along the Salah al-Din Road northwards. Despite this pause, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza persists, with a bottleneck of aid accumulating at Kerem Shalom due to ongoing airstrikes and fighting.

The designated route for aid runs from Kerem Shalom to Al Bayuk and onto the European Hospital in Khan Younis, coordinated with international organizations to increase aid volumes.

However, the IDF confirmed that fighting in Rafah continues unabated. Intense clashes have been reported in western Rafah, and eight IDF soldiers were killed near the city, marking one of the deadliest incidents for Israeli troops in the current conflict.

Reactions to the “tactical pause” have been mixed. Scott Anderson, the director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, welcomed the pause, hoping it would facilitate aid movement. However, James Elder, a spokesperson for UNICEF, emphasized that the pause could not replace a ceasefire.

Israel Implements Daily Pause in Gaza Fighting to Allow Aid Delivery Amid Ongoing Conflict

Israel Implements Daily Pause in Gaza Fighting to Allow Aid Delivery Amid Ongoing Conflict

Within Israel, senior officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Security Minister Ben Gvir, criticized the pause. Netanyahu reportedly opposed the pause initially but accepted it after confirming that the fighting in Rafah would continue.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is severe, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict. Muslims in Gaza marked Eid al-Adha with scarce food supplies. Human rights groups describe dire living conditions, with over 75% of the population displaced, neighborhoods destroyed, and essential resources depleted.

Over 37,000 people have been killed in the conflict, with more than 50,000 children requiring treatment for acute malnutrition. The conflict began after the October 7 attacks by Hamas, which killed approximately 1,200 people and took 250 hostages in southern Israel.

Aid delivery to Gaza faces numerous challenges. Land routes are considered the most effective for large-scale aid delivery but require Israeli approval and are hampered by damaged infrastructure and security issues.

Efforts to bring aid by sea have also faced setbacks, with the US military dismantling a temporary humanitarian pier off the Gaza coast due to heavy seas. This highlights the difficulties in ensuring consistent and adequate aid flow into Gaza amidst the ongoing conflict.

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