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Deal struck to open Gaza border for aid


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Deal struck to open Gaza border for aid

By Adel Zaanoun
Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territories (AFP) Oct 19, 2023
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a deal to allow desperately-needed humanitarian aid to enter war-torn Gaza, where one million people have fled their homes amid withering Israeli air strikes.

After face-to-face talks in Israel and intense telephone diplomacy with Egypt, Biden said a limited number of trucks would be allowed to cross the shuttered Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza from Friday.

It would be the first international relief to enter Gaza since October 7, when Palestinian militant group Hamas launched shock raids into Israel, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing about 200 hostages.

Since then, Israel has besieged the Palestinian enclave, launching wave after wave of air strikes, enforcing a blockade and deploying tens of thousands of troops to the border in preparation for an expected ground assault.

The United Nations and humanitarian groups have begged for the military stranglehold on Gaza to be eased, to allow supplies of water, food, fuel and medicines to enter.

Top UN humanitarian official Martin Griffiths on Wednesday said the situation in Gaza was dire, with hospitals overwhelmed, more than 3,000 Gazans killed and 12,500 injured.

"The pace of death, of suffering, of destruction" he said "cannot be exaggerated."

Despite the devastation, more than 100 trucks have been queued for days on the Egyptian side of the border waiting to enter Gaza.

Israel fears that aid deliveries could be used as cover to bring in weapons, or could be diverted into the hands of Hamas -- which governs the enclave.

Israel has already hit the border crossing with multiple air strikes since this phase of the decades-old conflict began.

Egypt controls the border and fears throwing open the gates would bring tens of thousands of refugees to its territory.

After what he described "blunt" negotiations and a telephone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Biden indicated that about 20 trucks would enter Gaza to start with, with more to come if all sides agree.

"We want to get as many of the trucks out as possible," Biden said aboard Air Force One.

"If Hamas confiscates it or doesn't let it get through... then it's going to end, because we're not going to be sending any humanitarian aid to Hamas," Biden said.

Israeli officials said the deliveries would be limited to "food, water and medicine", and that the effort was conditional on aid not being used by Hamas.

The UN's Griffiths estimated that about 100 trucks per day were needed to meet the needs in Gaza.

- Fog of war -

Biden had made a visit to Israel Wednesday, expressing solidarity following the Hamas attacks, trying to gauge Israel's war objectives and hoping to prevent a spillover into regional conflict.

He warned Israel to be cautious as it tries to remove the threat from Hamas.

"After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. While we sought justice we also made mistakes," he said.

After decades in which Israel has gradually improved ties with its neighbours, the Hamas attacks and Israel's furious response have rekindled old tensions.

Anger spiked on Wednesday, with protesters pouring onto the streets in cities from Tripoli to Tehran after a strike on Gaza's Ahli Arab hospital.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claimed 471 people had died as a result, while blaming an Israeli air strike.

Israel denied responsibility, saying an initial investigation showed the strike was caused by a malfuncti oning rocket fired by Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

Like Hamas, Islamic Jihad is proscribed as a terrorist group by the United States and other Western governments.

Neither the toll nor the provenance of the strike could be immediately or independently verified.

One European intelligence agency told AFP: "There wasn't 200 or even 500 deaths, more likely between 10 and 50."

Biden said the Pentagon also believed the strike was caused by an errant Palestinian rocket.

"Our Defense Department says it's highly unlikely that it was the Israelis. It would have had a different footprint," he said, acknowledging that many around the region would still be sceptical.

"I can understand why, in this circumstance, they wouldn't believe. I can understand that," he said, insisting: "I don't say things like that unless I have faith in the source."

Eyewitness Adnan al-Naqa said that as he entered the hospital, he heard an "explosion" and "saw a massive fire."

"The entire square was on fire. There were bodies everywhere, children, women and elderly people."

In the hours following the incident, AFP reporters saw scores of bodies cloaked in bloodstained sheets and white plastic lined the floors at the nearby the Al-Shifa hospital, where victims were said to have been taken.

At the Ahli Arab hospital the day after the blast the charred husks of several vehicles littered the blackened courtyard.

The Israeli military pointed to the fire damage and the absence of a large impact crater as evidence that it was a rocket misfiring.

"When a bomb, a big bomb like the ones we use hits the ground, it creates a very big crater," Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus.

Hamas has dismissed Israel's claim of a misfiring rocket, saying its "outrageous lies do not deceive anyone."

It also slammed the United States, accusing it of being complicit in the ongoing strikes on Gaza.

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Artificial Intelligence Analysis

delivery:

Summary:

The US President Joe Biden has struck a deal with Israel and Egypt to open the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza, allowing for a limited number of trucks to enter the war-torn region on Friday. This is the first international relief since October 7, when Hamas launched shock raids into Israel, killing 1 400 people and seizing 200 hostages. The UN and humanitarian groups have been begging for the military stranglehold on Gaza to be eased, to allow supplies of water, food, fuel, and medicines to enter. Despite the devastation, more than 100 trucks have been queued for days on the Egyptian side of the border waiting to enter Gaza.Economic, Environmental, and Safety Implications:

The immediate economic implications of this deal are that it could help alleviate some of the poverty and deprivation in Gaza, which could in turn help to reduce the violence and tension in the region. In the long term, it could improve conditions for the population, leading to better economic prospects. The environmental implications of this deal are that it could help to improve the conditions in Gaza by providing much needed resources such as water and food, which could reduce the risk of disease and help to improve overall health. Finally, the safety implications of this deal are that it could help to reduce the risk of conflict in the region by reducing the number of people living in poverty and providing much needed resources to the population.Geopolitical and Societal Impacts:

The geopolitical impacts of this deal are that it could help to reduce the tension between Israel and Palestine, as well as between Israel and Egypt. This could in turn help to improve the security situation in the region and create a more stable environment. The societal impacts of this deal are that it could help to improve the lives of the people in Gaza by providing them with resources that they need to survive. This could also help to improve the overall quality of life in Gaza, as well as potentially leading to an increase in economic opportunities.

Conclusion:

The deal struck by US President Joe Biden to open the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza for a limited number of trucks could provide much needed humanitarian aid to the region. This could have immediate economic, environmental, and safety implications, as well as long-term geopolitical and societal impacts. In the long run, this could help to reduce the violence and tension in the region, improve the quality of life for the people in Gaza, and create a more stable environment.

Investigative Questions:

-What other measures can be taken to ensure the aid is used appropriately?-What other steps can be taken to reduce the tension in the region?-What steps can be taken to ensure the long-term stability of the region?Comparing to Star Trek:

Just like how the crew of the USS Discovery had to use diplomacy and negotiation to bridge the gap between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets in order to create peace, US President Joe Biden has used diplomacy and negotiation to bridge the gap between Israel, Egypt, and Palestine in order to bring much needed aid to the region.

This AI report is generated by a sophisticated prompt to a ChatGPT API. Our editors clean text for presentation, but preserve AI thought for our collective observation. Please comment and ask questions about AI use by Spacedaily. We appreciate your support and contribution to better trade news.


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