Accessibility links

Breaking News

Humanitarian aid arrives in Gaza

Palestinians wait for aid trucks to cross in central Gaza Strip on May 19, 2024.
Palestinians wait for aid trucks to cross in central Gaza Strip on May 19, 2024.

Humanitarian aid is beginning to enter Gaza through a U.S.-built pier, according to U.S. officials.

"Aid is flowing," national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Wednesday at the White House. "It’s not flowing at the rate that any of us would be happy with, because we always want more."

The Defense Department estimates that more than 800 tons of aid will have arrived by Wednesday night.

Navy Vice Admiral Brad Cooper said the United States hopes to deliver about 500 tons of aid daily via the pier, or about 90 trucks a day, according to CNN.

The aid comes as much of Gaza is reportedly on the brink of famine. Some humanitarian aid officials say famine has arrived in some locations.

Aid arrived at the pier last week and was loaded onto trucks, but the truck convoy and much of its contents was overtaken by crowds of people. One man was killed in the incident.

Aid organizations are now coordinating safe routes for the convoys to avoid any deadly incidents.

Meanwhile, Israeli tanks made advances into Rafah in southern Gaza on Wednesday night, according to Reuters.

The military operation came with a severe bombardment of Rafah that sent hundreds of thousands of people scattering for cover.

"There has been no stopping of Israeli fire all night, from drones, helicopters, warplanes, and tanks," a Rafah resident told Reuters. "Tanks made a limited push southeast, still limited but they have advanced under heavy fire all night."

Israel says it has no option other than to attack locations in Gaza where it believes members of Hamas are hiding, despite Palestinians taking refuge in the locations.

Almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have sought refuge in Rafa until recently. Since Israel began its military operation on Rafah, about 800,000 have fled again.

The Israel-Hamas war began in October, when Hamas launched a surprise attack in southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and 250 people were taken hostage. Israel’s response to that attack has killed about 35,000 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.