Israel to allow some humanitarian aid to blockaded Gaza from Egypt: cabinet-Xinhua

Israel to allow some humanitarian aid to blockaded Gaza from Egypt: cabinet

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-10-18 23:44:30

JERUSALEM, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Israel's wartime cabinet decided on Wednesday that it will allow passage of basic humanitarian aid from Egypt to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister's Office announced in a statement that "Israel will not obstruct humanitarian supplies from Egypt as long as they consist of only food, water, and medicine for the civilians located in the southern Gaza Strip."

"Any supplies that reach Hamas will be thwarted," it warned.

The cabinet added that passage of any humanitarian aid from Israel to Gaza would not be allowed, as long as the hostages kidnapped by Hamas were not returned.

According to the statement, the decision was made in response to a request from U.S. President Joe Biden to provide essential supplies to the embattled Gaza. Biden had arrived in Israel earlier on Wednesday for a brief visit.

In addition, the cabinet stated that Israel demands to allow visits by the Red Cross to the hostages.

Israel has cut Gaza's supply of electricity, water and food in the wake of Hamas' surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Abeer Etefa, World Food Programme (WFP) regional communications lead for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Tuesday that the current stocks of food commodities in Gaza were sufficient for only two weeks, food shops had reserves for approximately five days, and there were difficulties with replenishing those shops from warehouses.

The WFP was hoping to provide lifesaving food supplies to 800,000 people both in Gaza and the West Bank, and 74 million U.S. dollars were urgently needed to continue the operation for the next three months.

Also on Wednesday, Israel announced the prohibition of flying civilian drones and model aircraft throughout the country due to the security situation.

The ban, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, is intended to reduce the danger of drones' misidentifications by Israeli security forces as hostile ones during the escalation, according to the ministry.