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UNRWA hails Egypt decision to send aid to Gaza via Karem Abu Salem crossing

Sam Rose, the director of planning at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says the ICJ ruling ordering Israel to stop its offensive in Rafah has not changed much for Palestinians in Gaza.

“We’ve not seen any immediate changes on the ground in terms of impacts on the lives of Palestinians. What we have seen is a commitment for goods and for fuel to start flowing from Egypt tomorrow,” he told Al Jazeera from Rafah.

Rose was referring to an Egyptian commitment to send UN-provided humanitarian aid to Gaza via the Karem Abu Salem (known as Kerem Shalom to Israelis) crossing, located at the borders of Egypt, Israel and Gaza. Cairo said the move was temporary until legal mechanisms were in place to reopen the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza from the Palestinian side. Israel closed that crossing in early May.

“We see this as a positive development. This is something we’ve been calling for, for a long time. But until we are able to get those supplies in […] only then will we be able to resume distribution of flour and food commodities to the population that remains in Rafah and other parts of Gaza,” Rose said.

“We have – at UNRWA alone – thousands of trucks of aid, either inside Egypt or in Ashdod [port] in Israel. So the aid is there… on the boundaries, while the population in Gaza gets closer to famine.”

Aid trucks from Egypt enter Gaza through Karem Abu Salem crossing

Four humanitarian aid trucks from Egypt have entered Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, according to the Egyptian broadcaster Al-Qahera.

The crossing is located at the intersection of Israel, Gaza and Egypt. The trucks were carrying fuel, according to the television network.

About 200 aid trucks from Egypt to enter Gaza today

Khaled Zayed, the head of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society in North Sinai, told Reuters that 200 aid trucks are expected to enter Gaza via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing today.

Located at the borders of Egypt, Israel and Gaza, Karem Abu Salem is one of the two crossings into southern Gaza. The other one is the Rafah crossing, located between Egypt and Gaza, which has been closed since Israeli forces seized control of it on May 6.

Egypt on Friday agreed to allow UN-provided humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza temporarily through Karem Abu Salem until legal mechanisms are in place to reopen the Rafah border crossing from the Palestinian side.

Although the Rafah crossing has remained closed, some trucks have been entering Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem crossing. The exact number of trucks is not known since the UN says it has been unable to maintain a presence at either crossing to monitor them since May 7.

The UN has said 143 UN humanitarian trucks crossed through the Karem Abu Salem crossing between May 6 to 25, significantly less than the 146 trucks that entered Gaza per day on average through Karem Abu Salem in April.