November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Airlift of Gaza Aid Arrives in Egypt

November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Airlift of Gaza Aid Arrives in Egypt

Latest Developments

A U.S. military plane carrying more than 54,000 pounds of humanitarian aid for Gaza landed in Egypt on November 28, the first of three American airlifts scheduled for the coming days. From Egypt, the aid — which reportedly includes food, medical supplies, and winter clothing — will be trucked into the Gaza Strip. More than 2,000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have entered Gaza through Egypt since President Biden visited the region in October, according to a senior U.S. administration official.

Meanwhile, Egypt has allowed only limited evacuations of foreign passport holders and wounded civilians through its border with Gaza. Most of Gaza’s civilian population remains stuck in the enclave.

Expert Analysis

“The time has come for Egypt to open its northern border to Palestinian civilians fleeing the war. The security threat posed by the new arrivals would be far outweighed by the international public relations benefits flowing to Cairo for making such a decision on humanitarian grounds. Pressure on Israel would be relieved — and the Israeli government would be grateful. Will Egypt step up? It should.” — Haisam Hassanein, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“The White House is reportedly pressuring Israel to alter its military plans in southern Gaza due to the high number of internally displaced persons in the area. Why doesn’t the White House instead put pressure on Egypt to open the border and make the IDF’s job less challenging?” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Cairo Continues to Reject Gaza Refugees

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said on October 12 that Egypt will not absorb Gaza refugees because “it’s important for [Gaza’s] people to stay steadfast and exist on its land.” Cairo has long believed that Israel wants to resettle Palestinians in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula instead of establishing an independent Palestinian state. On October 10, Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Amira Oron denied that Israel had any “intentions regarding Sinai” and confirmed that Israel “has not asked the Palestinians to move there.”

Fuel Deliveries through Egypt

On November 15, a shipment of fuel for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) entered Gaza through Egypt for the first time since October 7. Israel has restricted fuel deliveries during the war for fear they will end up in Hamas’s hands. Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari noted on October 24, “Hamas takes the petrol for its military infrastructure.”

Israel war: Why wouldn’t Egypt want Gazan refugees?” by Haisam Hassanein

If Egypt supports Gazans, it should offer them temporary housing,” by Haisam Hassanein

Egypt, Jordan, and Other Arab Governments Reject Gazan Refugees,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Allows Fuel to Gaza Through Egyptian Border,” FDD Flash Brief


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