Hamas urges international pressure for permanent aid corridor

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid enters the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on October 21, 2023. (Eyad BABA / AFP)
A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid enters the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing on October 21, 2023. (Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Hamas terror group is calling on Arab and Muslim countries and the UN to intensify efforts to open “a permanent humanitarian corridor for the Gaza Strip,” and thereby stave off Israeli efforts “to starve Gazans.”

In a statement issued on Monday, Hamas says the aid that has entered the Strip over the past two days does not cover the increasing needs of the civilian population, calling to increase the supply of fuel, food, and medical supplies.

The first aid convoy of 20 trucks entered Gaza on Saturday, followed on Sunday by a second convoy of 14 trucks. Hundreds more trucks are on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing awaiting entry, UN sources say.

On Saturday, an IDF official denied that there is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip: “As of now, I can tell you that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There are hardships in moving people within days to the south of the Gaza Strip, but the population is getting along,” the official told reporters.

Over the past days, the military has continued to order Gazans to move toward the south of the coastal enclave. According to the Israel Defense Forces, some 700,000 people of the estimated 1.1 million population of northern Gaza have evacuated south.

On October 16, UNRWA, the United Nations organization that works with Palestinian refugees, indicated that Hamas members had stolen fuel and medical supplies meant for refugees from its premises.

Most Popular