A critical lifeline for humanitarian aid into Gaza remains clogged as dozens of aid trucks wait at the Rafah crossing. Satellite images reveal significant damage to the road leading into southern Gaza, raising concerns about the region’s access to humanitarian aid delivery. The crossing connects Gaza with Egypt. It is the focal point in the ongoing struggle for relief.

Twenty aid trucks have received permission to cross from Egypt into Gaza.

As aid organisations and humanitarian efforts strive to alleviate the dire situation in Gaza, the delay in aid delivery is worsened by the visible road damage.

Satellite images reveal six distinct damaged areas on the routes leading away from the border gate into southern Gaza. These areas were not present in satellite images before 10 October, indicating that the damage occurred as a result of recent events.

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) conducted airstrikes targeting “northern Rafah” earlier in the week, yet their official statement did not mention any impact on the Rafah crossing. This situation has intensified the already desperate need for humanitarian aid in Gaza, where the population has been grappling with a myriad of challenges. International organisations have been pressuring relevant authorities to ensure the prompt repair of the damaged roads leading into Gaza to expedite the delivery of aid.

The Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has emphasised that the current aid convoy waiting at the Rafah border crossing is insufficient to meet the needs of Gaza, describing it as nothing more than “a drop in the ocean.”

Juliette Touma, a representative of UNRWA, has made a plea for a sustained and continuous flow of humanitarian aid to reach Gaza. She has underscored the critical necessity of fuel to operate vital water stations in Gaza, highlighting the region’s acute need for these essential resources to alleviate the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, Hamas has released its first batch of hostages. Among those set free are two US nationals, Judith and Natalie Raanan, who had been held captive in the Gaza Strip.

The release of the American hostages brought overwhelming joy to their family, particularly for Natalie Raanan’s half-brother, who expressed his relief and happiness at their safe return. The exact circumstances of their release and the conditions that led to their captivity are yet to be disclosed.