A satellite photo taken Saturday morning captured aid trucks returning from Gaza and others still lined up at the Rafah crossing, which was briefly opened earlier.
The image was taken at 11.22am local time, more than an hour after the crossing opened for aid. In it, empty trucks are seen crossing back into Egypt.
The 20 aid trucks that passed through the Rafah crossing on Saturday morning were from the Egyptian Red Crescent. UN aid trucks are expected to move through the border crossing into Gaza on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the United Nations secretary general.
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The trucks were carrying food, water and medical supplies, but no fuel. According to Egyptian authorities at the Rafah crossing, 13 trucks were carrying medicine and medical supplies, five were carrying food and two trucks had water.
The border crossing was opened for a short window to let 20 aid trucks cross into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. While many have welcomed the development, rights groups stress that more aid is desperately needed for over two million people within the besieged enclave.
World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was one of those who warned Saturday that “needs are far higher.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called for the crossing to remain open “to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza” in a statement Saturday.
US President Joe Biden ascribed the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza to “days of diplomatic engagement at the highest levels”, adding that the United States will continue to work with partners to keep the Rafah crossing in operation.
“I made it clear from the outset of this crisis — in both my public statements and private conversations — that humanitarian assistance was a critical and urgent need that had to get moving, and I express my deep personal appreciation for the leadership of President (Abdel Fattah) Al-Sisi of Egypt, Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu of Israel, and the United Nations to allow the resumption of this assistance,” Biden said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Biden said the Egyptian president agreed to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza for humanitarian aid after Biden spoke with the leader for more than an hour on Air Force One.
“We will continue to work with all parties to keep the Rafah crossing in operation to enable the continued movement of aid that is imperative to the welfare of the people of Gaza, and to continue working to protect civilians, consistent with obligations under international humanitarian law,” he added.
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