israel reopens erez crossing for gaza aid

By Asif Ali Awan

| Published Apr 05, 2024 | 09:35 a.m.

JERUSALEM: Israel approved the reopening of the Erez crossing into northern Gaza and the temporary use of Ashdod port in southern Israel in response to U.S. demands for increased humanitarian aid supplies into Gaza.

During a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Joe Biden urged "specific, concrete" actions to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, warning of potential conditions on U.S. aid if Israel didn't act.

Pressure on Israel

mounted after seven aid workers were killed in an Israeli strike, sparking global outrage and highlighting the ongoing crisis over aid deliveries to Gaza.

In a late-night meeting, the security cabinet greenlit immediate measures to boost humanitarian aid to Gaza's civilian population, including reopening the Erez crossing and increasing Jordanian aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The move followed Biden's ultimatum to Netanyahu: protect Palestinian civilians and aid workers in Gaza or risk diminished U.S. support in its conflict with Hamas militants.

While the White House didn't specify the required actions, analysts interpreted it as a threat to reduce arms transfers or temper U.S. support at the U.N.