Israel Urges U.N. to Expedite Gaza Aid Distribution Amid Growing Backlog at Border Crossings

By Yoni Weiss

Armed and masked Palestinians are seen on trucks loaded with international humanitarian aid entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, in the southern Gaza Strip, April 3. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israel urged the United Nations on Thursday to enhance its efforts in distributing humanitarian aid as supplies continued to accumulate at Gaza’s border crossings.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported that over 1,000 trucks were awaiting collection and distribution on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom crossing. Additionally, hundreds of aid pallets were awaiting distribution at the JLOTS collection and distribution compound.

“We have said in the past, and we continue to say so now – the U.N. has a duty to scale up its logistical capabilities of collecting and distributing the humanitarian aid. We [are continuing] with our efforts – now it is your duty to complete the job,” COGAT stated.

COGAT also shared a video showing hundreds of aid pallets sitting in the sun. The post highlighted the loading and unloading area of the JLOTS, a $230 million offshore pier built by the U.S. Navy, where aid is also awaiting collection by U.N. agencies.

The agency reported that 285 aid trucks were transferred to the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings. However, only 88 of these trucks were collected by U.N. aid agencies and the private sector, with 33 collected from Erez and 55 from Kerem Shalom. This leaves the contents of 1,100 aid trucks still waiting to be picked up at Kerem Shalom. The figures did not include undelivered pallets offloaded from the U.S. pier.

The distribution of aid has faced significant challenges and controversies. The Wall Street Journal reported that Palestinians have been smuggling cigarettes hidden in aid deliveries, leading to attacks on convoys to seize the tobacco. These attacks have contributed to the backlog of over 1,000 undelivered aid trucks on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

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