February 24, 2024

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths will visit Amman, Jordan on Wednesday to discuss the potential reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza from Israel. Located at the intersection of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt, the Kerem Shalom crossing previously facilitated over 60% of the truckloads entering Gaza. Currently, humanitarian aid only enters Gaza through the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, which is not suitable for truck transportation.

Griffiths emphasized the need for multiple crossings, stating that the opportunity to use Kerem Shalom should be explored to expand the aid response. However, a Western diplomat mentioned that there is currently no possibility of opening the Kerem Shalom crossing, as Israel does not want to open it due to the presence of its troops in the area. Israel has not provided immediate comment on this matter.

Since the recent truce, the United Nations has increased the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza and extended aid to northern areas that were previously inaccessible due to Israeli bombing. However, Griffiths stressed the need for reliable and scalable aid delivery mechanisms, including the participation of NGOs and the private sector, to meet the increasing needs of the people of Gaza.