Aid Supplies Enter Via Ashdod Port for the First Time

Ships seen at sunset at the sea in the southern city of Ashdod. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

TEL AVIV (dpa/TNS) — For the first time since the port of Ashdod was opened for aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip, relief supplies for the coastal area have been handled via the port, the IDF said Wednesday.

Eight trucks carrying flour were checked there and then taken to the Gaza Strip, it said.

However, the World Food Program trucks had entered the coastal area via the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the south — not via Erez in the north of the Gaza Strip, which Israel also recently announced would be opened and which is much closer to Ashdod.

Kerem Shalom has long been used for aid deliveries.

In view of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the United States recently called on Israel to rapidly expand humanitarian aid for the civilian population.

In response, the War Cabinet decided at the beginning of April to open the Erez border crossing and, temporarily, the port of Ashdod for aid deliveries.

The Erez border crossing would make it easier to supply the civilian population in the north, where experts have been warning there is a threat of famine.

According to Israeli sources, this new access is intended to reduce the pressure on the existing Kerem Shalom crossing. There was no indication on Wednesday as to when Erez could be opened for aid deliveries.

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