Egypt says it is pushing to accelerate aid delivery to Gaza

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt is striving to accelerate the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, a senior official said on Thursday, after the amount of relief getting through to the Palestinian enclave dipped with the end of the Israel-Hamas truce on Dec. 1.

Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service, said Egypt would never allow the emptying of the Gaza Strip of its residents as Israel’s military campaign pushes them southwards towards the border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Rashwan added that Egypt believed Israel’s operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank aimed to force Palestinians towards Jordan.

Since the conflict in Gaza began on Oct. 7, the Rafah crossing on its border with Egypt has been the only entry point for aid trucks carrying desperately needed supplies of food, medicines, water and fuel.

The number of trucks crossing daily has dropped in recent days to fewer than 100, from nearly 200 when the week-long truce was in place. On Wednesday, 80 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, according to the United Nations.

Egypt, along with the United Nations, has been lobbying Israel to speed up an inspection process for aid trucks that requires the vehicles to drive to Egypt’s border with Israel before looping back to Rafah.

(Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Janet Lawrence)