Egypt has announced the creation of a “sustainable” humanitarian aid corridor into Gaza. The announcement comes as hundreds of trucks, carrying essential supplies, are waiting to enter the besieged Palestinian enclave being bombarded by Israel.
Here are the points on this big story:
- UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel today to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog before travelling to other capitals in the Middle East.
- “If Hamas confiscates it (aid), doesn’t let it get through … then it’s going to end. “The bottom line is that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi deserves some real credit because he was very accommodating,” Joe Biden said.
- Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday that he would not allow a large number of refugees from the Gaza Strip to enter Egypt, because it could set a precedent for Palestinians in the West Bank to move to neighbouring Jordan.
- Joe Biden, visiting Israel on Wednesday in a show of solidarity, blamed the Islamic Jihad group for the deadly Gaza hospital bombing that killed 500 people according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
- “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden said. “Based on the information we have seen today it (the blast) appears the result of an errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza.”
- The Biden administration has allocated $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in an effort to help the more than 1 million people displaced by the ongoing conflict.
- In light of the hospital bombing, Biden’s high-stakes meeting with Arab leaders like Sisi, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II was cancelled.
- The Gaza Strip, blockaded by Israel and Egypt since 2007, has seen relentless Israeli airstrikes since the October 7 Hamas attacks. Entire neighbourhoods have been reduced to rubble with survivors struggling for food and water. “The situation in Gaza is spiralling out of control,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on X. “We need violence on all sides to stop.”
- The situation in Gaza and the deadly hospital bombing have sparked widespread protests across the Arab and Muslim world. The Iran-backed and Lebanon-based group Hezbollah has called for mass mobilisation, with “death to America, death to Israel” chants ringing across protest sites across the Middle East.