March 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Facilitates Entry of Six Aid Trucks Into Northern Gaza

March 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Facilitates Entry of Six Aid Trucks Into Northern Gaza

Latest Developments

Six trucks of aid from the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) entered northern Gaza on March 12 through a new land route established by the Israeli military. The convoy, which carried enough food to feed 25,000 people, departed Egypt and traveled north along a military road on Israel’s side of the border before crossing into Gaza. Israel’s Coordinator of Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT), which supports Israel’s humanitarian efforts, said the deliveries were part of a pilot program designed “to prevent Hamas from taking over the aid.”

Until now, convoys could only reach northern Gaza by entering the strip through Israel’s Kerem Shalom or Egypt’s Rafah crossings in the south and then driving to distribution points. On February 20, the WFP suspended deliveries to the north, citing “safety and security” concerns. However, a spokeswoman for the WFP said the delivery on March 12 proved that “moving food by road is possible” and that the agency is “hoping to scale up.”

Expert Analysis

“The arrival of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza is an important step to alleviate the needs of the civilian population in northern Gaza. In order to prevent Hamas from controlling aid to civilians in Gaza — and using aid as a weapon — it is important that this alternate aid corridor be maintained. Hamas uses its control of Rafah to strangle Gaza and hijack aid trucks.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“This operation confirms what we knew to be true: The bottleneck in aid delivery has been due to the UN agencies on the ground being unwilling to distribute aid despite Israel doing everything possible to facilitate increased aid access. We need to see more agencies and NGOs follow the WFP’s lead.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“As many as 200,000 Gazans remain in the north of Gaza, refusing to heed the IDF’s calls to move south. There are certainly Hamas terrorists among them — some who continue to fight and others who are in hiding — but there are also civilians who need aid. The mission may be dangerous, but the IDF’s decision to open an aid corridor in the north of the enclave was the correct and moral thing to do to alleviate the suffering of Gazans.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Israel, U.S. Sidestep UNRWA

In February, Israel allowed the WFP to distribute a substantial flour delivery that the United States had delivered to Israel’s Ashdod Port in January for transfer to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich originally blocked the aid’s transfer due to credible allegations of UNRWA’s ties to Hamas and participation in the October 7 attacks. Smotrich directed Israel’s customs service to identify an alternative distributor because UNRWA is a “central part” of the “Hamas war machine,” he said. The WFP, a U.S.-led UN body directed by Cindy McCain and overseen by 36 UN member states, delivers food assistance in emergencies.

Israel Facilitates Aid to Gaza

The IDF has repeatedly filmed Hamas terrorists taking over aid trucks entering Gaza since October 7. Still, despite the terrorist group’s theft of goods, Israel continues to increase humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza. Israel has repeatedly emphasized that it is fighting against Hamas, not Palestinian civilians. “We want humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza. We are working around the clock to make this happen,” IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on February 29. “Israel puts no limits on the amount of aid that can go into Gaza.” On March 13, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner underscored that Israel is “constantly trying to find creative ways to maintain the flow of humanitarian supplies into Gaza.”

Hamas Warns Gazans Against Coopering With Israel on Aid Delivery,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Sidesteps UNRWA to Deliver Gaza Aid Via WFP,” FDD Flash Brief

Stampede, Gunfire Near Gaza Aid Trucks,” FDD Flash Brief


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