Israel approves reopening of Erez crossing for aid in GazaBreaking

April 05, 2024

Israel said it approved the reopening of the Erez crossing into northern Gaza and the temporary use of Ashdod port in southern Israel, following U.S. demands to increase humanitarian aid supplies into Gaza. During a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night, U.S. President Joe Biden demanded “specific, concrete” steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying conditions could be placed on U.S. aid if Israel did not respond. The growing pressure on Israel came after the killing of seven aid workers in an Israeli strike on Monday night, which triggered global outrage at the continuing crisis over aid deliveries into the besieged enclave. A meeting of the security cabinet late on Thursday approved immediate steps to increase humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, a statement said. In addition to reopening the Erez crossing point, which has been closed since it was destroyed during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the security cabinet also approved increasing Jordanian aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing point, the statement said.

The development came after the U.S. President Joe Biden effectively gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an ultimatum on Thursday: protect Palestinian civilians and foreign aid workers in Gaza or Washington could rein in support for Israel in its war against Hamas militants. The message, after months of U.S. calls for Israel to change its military tactics that have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians, followed an Israeli attack that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers and triggered global outrage. The White House did not say exactly what steps it wanted Netanyahu to take, nor what it would do if he failed to take them. But analysts said the implicit threat was to slow U.S. arms transfers to Israel or to temper U.S. support at the U.N.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan