Dec 1, 2023 - World

Despite U.S. requests, Israel reduces aid allowed into Gaza after ceasefire collapses

Aid trucks reach Gaza City during pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images

Aid trucks reach Gaza City during pause in fighting between Hamas and Israel. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images

Israel on Friday reduced the number of aid trucks it allowed into Gaza after the ceasefire collapsed, the Israeli government coordination office in the territories (COGAT) told Axios.

The big picture: The move comes despite the U.S. making clear in recent days that it expected the increased levels of humanitarian aid and fuel entering Gaza during the pause in fighting to continue even when the temporary ceasefire ended.

  • It also comes as aid groups warn the resumed fighting will deepen the humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

Driving the news: As part of the ceasefire agreement, Israel allowed a significant increase in the number of trucks carrying humanitarian aid — about 200 per day — into Gaza. It also allowed more fuel to cross into the enclave.

  • But in blaming Hamas for violating the ceasefire, COGAT said it was limiting the amount of aid allowed in. On Friday, only several dozen humanitarian aid trucks entered southern Gaza. Those trucks were not allowed to go to northern Gaza as some did during the pause. No fuel was allowed in at all.
  • Hamas has blamed Israel for the collapse in talks to extend the pause in fighting.
  • A spokesperson for COGAT said the trucks were allowed into Gaza on Friday "at the request of the Biden administration and at the approval of the Israeli government." It stressed that all the trucks went through a security inspection in Israel before entering Gaza.

What they're saying: White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday that the U.S. is urging Israel to resume allowing aid into Gaza at the higher levels it did during the pause.

Zoom in: Even during the pause, the UN and other aid groups said the increased amount of aid allowed into the Strip wasn't enough to address the growing needs.

  • The decision to limit the aid "exacerbates the suffering of citizens and increases the challenges facing humanitarian and relief organizations in alleviating the hardships of citizens and displaced persons due to the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip," the Palestine Red Crescent Society said on social media.
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