Israel and Egypt Spar, Squeezing Gaza Aid Routes

Israel and Egypt Spar, Squeezing Gaza Aid Routes

By Oghale May11,2024

While aid deliveries rose in April and the first days of May, before the Rafah operation, aid groups said Israel was not allowing nearly enough into Gaza to stave off famine or the collapse of the health care and sanitation systems. Now that tens of thousands more civilians are fleeing Rafah to areas with little infrastructure set up to care for them, the United Nations and aid groups say the situation has become far more dire.

On Friday, UNRWA reported that about 110,000 people had fled Rafah this week amid intensifying Israeli airstrikes and growing fears that a major military invasion was imminent.

One of those who fled was Saeda al-Nemnem, 42, who had given birth to twins less than a month ago. Members of her family, which was displaced from Gaza City, sent a relative to look for a truck that could take them north.

But the relative, Mohammed al-Jojo, never made it back. He was killed by an Israeli strike on the tractor he was riding, Ms. al-Nemnem said. He “was killed when he was getting us out of that area to a safer place,” she said. “I feel I caused his death.”

Despite the dangers on the road, she and her family of eight traveled to the southern city of Khan Younis, where they found shelter in a room attached to Al Aqsa University’s main building. There, they could hear what seemed like explosions from Israeli bombs, missiles and artillery, she said.

“My children’s heartbeats were so high that I could feel them,” she said. It was the heaviest bombardment she had ever heard, she said, “so close and so terrifying for me and my children.”

Manal al-Wakeel, 48, who had helped the aid group World Central Kitchen prepare hot meals, said she and her family had been sheltering in a part of Rafah that was battered by Israeli airstrikes and ground combat.

On Tuesday night, Ms. al-Wakeel said she, her husband, their 11 children and other relatives found a truck that would take them and their belongings, including suitcases of clothes, pots, pans and tents, for 2,500 shekels — about $670 — in search of another place to stay.

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By Oghale

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