Road, Sea and Air: How Is Aid Entering Gaza?

The amount of aid reaching Gaza has fallen sharply since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas, leading to what humanitarian officials say is a catastrophe for the territory’s population of more than two million people. Gaza was subject to a blockade before the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but around 500 trucks of food and other supplies a day were still crossing into the territory. That number has since fallen by around 75 percent, according to United Nations data.

Here is a look at the ways aid is getting into Gaza:


Roads are by far the most important delivery route: More than 15,000 trucks of aid have entered the territory since Oct. 7 at two entry points in the enclave’s south. Most enter through Rafah, on Gaza’s border with Egypt. The other point is at Kerem Shalom, an Israeli crossing. Since January, protesters have sometimes blocked the Kerem Shalom crossing, arguing that Gaza should receive no aid while armed groups still hold captives taken on Oct. 7. Aid groups have called for more crossings to be opened.

Israel subjects all aid for Gaza to rigorous checks, saying that it is attempting to block items that could potentially be used by Hamas. Britain’s foreign minister, David Cameron, said this week that too many goods were being turned away on those grounds, echoing the stance of officials at aid agencies and the United Nations.

Israeli officials say that there is no limit to the amount of aid that can enter Gaza by road, and that responsibility for bottlenecks lies with aid agencies. They say that they can inspect more aid deliveries than humanitarian organizations can process and distribute.

Even after supplies get into Gaza, aid groups have struggled to make deliveries because of security challenges — and particularly to transport goods to northern Gaza from entry points in the south. The north of the territory is on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations’ World Food Program. This week, Israel allowed the agency to send an aid convoy with food for 25,000 people directly into northern Gaza through a crossing point that had not previously been used for aid during the war. The agency said it was the first time since Feb. 20 that it had delivered food in the north.


The United States, Britain, the European Union and other governments announced last week that they would establish a sea route for aid to Gaza from Cyprus, and the U.S. military has announced plans to build a floating pier to facilitate deliveries because Gaza does not have a functioning port.

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