US, Egypt agree to allow aid into Gaza through Kerem Shalom

By Thomson Reuters May 24, 2024 | 12:40 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed Egypt’s commitment on Friday to allow UN-provided humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza on a temporary basis through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the White House said.

Biden also told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in a call that he supported efforts to reopen the southern Rafah crossing under terms acceptable to both Egypt and Israel and that the U.S. would send a senior team to Cairo next week for talks, according to a White House statement.

“President Biden welcomed the commitment from President al-Sisi to permit the flow of UN-provided humanitarian assistance from Egypt through the Karem Shalom crossing on a provisional basis for onward distribution throughout Gaza. This will help save lives,” it said.

Sisi agreed to send the aid temporarily until legal mechanisms are in place to reopen the Rafah border crossing from the Palestinian side, the Egyptian presidency said.

Some of the food supplies waiting to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt have begun to rot as the Rafah border crossing remains shut to aid deliveries for a third week and people inside the Palestinian enclave face worsening hunger.

Rafah was a main entry point for humanitarian relief and some commercial supplies before Israel stepped up its military offensive on the Gazan side of the border on May 6 and took control of the crossing from the Palestinian side.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Caitlin Webber)