Blinken says Rafah crossing will be open for aid as Israel prepares to attack Gaza: NPR

Workers stack items at one of the warehouses where the Egyptian Red Crescent stores foreign aid to Gaza after the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in North Sinai, Egypt. An aid convoy organized by a group of Egyptian NGOs left Cairo today for Rafah, the Gaza-Egypt border crossing.

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Workers stack items at one of the warehouses where the Egyptian Red Crescent stores foreign aid to Gaza after the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in North Sinai, Egypt. An aid convoy organized by a group of Egyptian NGOs left Cairo today for Rafah, the Gaza-Egypt border crossing.

Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images

JERUSALEM – The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza will reopen on Sunday for humanitarian aid to Palestinians currently besieged by Israeli forces, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said.

A week after Hamas launched a multi-pronged offensive into Israel that killed more than 1,300 people, Palestinians continue to flee northern Gaza ahead of an expected Israeli offensive against Hamas targets in the area.

“Rafa will be open,” Blinken told reporters during a stop in Egypt on Sunday.

“We’re working with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others — we’re building a mechanism to get aid and get it to the people who need it.”

Egypt has allowed some aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing but has halted those shipments since Tuesday following Israeli airstrikes on its side of the Gaza crossing.

Blinken also said it was critical for Americans in Gaza and their family members to leave ahead of an Israeli attack.

He met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday. Flash highlighted The Biden administration is focused on stopping Hamas attacks against Israel and preventing wars from spreading across the region.

“The Secretary and President Sisi agreed on the importance of addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, ensuring that aid reaches people in need and keeping civilians out of harm’s way,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller added.

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The Israeli military said on Sunday it would allow Gazans to evacuate south, and hundreds of thousands of people have already moved on. On Friday, 1.1 million people living in the north of Gaza were told to evacuate.

IDF again on Sunday urged the residents of Gaza He said that no action would be taken on the evacuation route from the north of Gaza to the south and within three hours of midday.

“Rest assured, Hamas leaders have already ensured the safety of themselves and their families,” the IDF said in its statement.

Israeli army He said he got the report Hamas confiscates residents’ personal belongings from residents of Gaza and prevents them from leaving.

NPR contacted Haneen Okal, a Gaza resident who was trapped at the Rafah Gate in Gaza’s south, on Saturday.

“A lot of people are waiting here in front of the Palestinian entrance, they’re all waiting to get out, but the Palestinians aren’t here to open the door, and the Egyptians haven’t come there yet from the Egyptian side. So we’re all waiting, what’s going to happen? Nobody has any information,” she said.

The Israeli army prepares for an attack on Gaza City

Israeli armored personnel carriers drive down the road at an undisclosed location on the border of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, October 15, 2023. More than a million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip in the past week, the UN says. A week of Israeli bombing and warnings of a ground attack against Hamas commanders.

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Menahem Gahana/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli armored personnel carriers drive down the road at an undisclosed location on the border of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, October 15, 2023. More than a million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip in the past week, the UN says. A week of Israeli bombing and warnings of a ground attack against Hamas commanders.

Menahem Gahana/AFP via Getty Images

The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday it was “poised” to attack Gaza City, with troops preparing for an apparent ground invasion of the border.

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said northern Gaza would be the focus of Israel’s next counteroffensive in an attempt to hit Hamas leaders.

“Gaza City is the heart and center of Hamas operations, that’s where most of the commanders are, most of their infrastructure and ability to continue operating,” Conricus said Saturday night.

He added that troops were “building up” around the Gaza Strip for the next phase of operations.

It’s the second US carrier strike group — the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group — has been ordered to begin moving into the eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. announced on Saturday.

Doctors in Gaza warned on Sunday that thousands could die if hospitals run out of fuel and basic supplies. Water and electricity are scarce.

Thousands have been killed in the past week

Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip killed 2,670 Palestinians, injured 9,600, the Gaza Health Ministry reported, and reportedly displaced 1 million people from their homes.

The IDF says the number of confirmed Israeli hostages in Gaza is 126. Hamas has previously claimed that 13 hostages were killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes. Foreigners were among the dead, but their nationalities were not specified.

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Israel has launched a massive response to the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas militants in Israel that killed more than 1,300 people, including 29 American citizens.

An Israeli soldier runs in front of a tank with an Israeli flag atop a platform near the Israeli border with Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

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An Israeli soldier runs in front of a tank with an Israeli flag atop a platform near the Israeli border with Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

Petros Gianakouris/AP

The Israeli military said on Sunday that at least 286 soldiers had been killed in the past week.

Additionally, at least 55 people have been killed in the West Bank, leaving more than 1,200 dead Injured, Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreigners declared.

The IDF said on Sunday Nine rockets were fired from Lebanon Inside Israeli territory and the Israeli army attacked where the attack began.

World leaders respond to the unfolding situation in Gaza

Named after President Biden David Satterfield, a senior diplomat, served as Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues and in charge of responding to the turmoil in Gaza.

“Special Envoy Satterfield will lead U.S. diplomacy to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including facilitating life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable populations and improving civilian safety in coordination with the United Nations and U.S. partners,” Blinken said in a statement.

Egyptian high officials have also come forward Hold an international summit To talk about “Developments and the future of the Palestinian issue”.

Pope Francis said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) He followed the latest developments in the conflict “with great sadness”.

“I renew my appeal for the release of the hostages and I strongly urge children, sick, elderly, women and all civilians not to fall prey to the conflict,” he said.

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