Trucks carrying humanitarian aid for war-torn and besieged Gaza started passing into the Rafah border crossing from Egypt Saturday, a security source and an Egyptian Red Crescent official told AFP.
Egyptian state television showed several trucks entering the gate on the 15th day of the war between Israel and Hamas, the militant movement which rules the Palestinian enclave of 2.4 million people.
Israel has been bombing Gaza since Hamas’ bloody surprise attack of October 7.
The Islamist group stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials, also taking more than 200 people hostage.
Israel has declared a total siege on Gaza and cut off supplies of water, electricity, fuel and food, creating chronic shortages.
Rafah is the only route into Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, which agreed to allow aid in from Egypt following a request from its top ally the United States.
Twenty trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent, which is responsible for delivering aid from various UN agencies, entered the Egyptian terminal, an AFP correspondent said.
An AFP journalist on the Palestinian side of the crossing saw 36 empty trailers entering into the terminal and heading towards the Egyptian side, where they were to be loaded with the incoming aid.
Four ambulances, two UN vehicles and two Red Cross vehicles were also seen heading into the terminal.
Cargo planes and trucks have been bringing humanitarian aid to the Egyptian side of Rafah for days, but so far none has been delivered to Gaza.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday visited the Egyptian side of the crossing to oversee preparations for the aid delivery.
“These trucks are not just trucks, they are a lifeline,” he said. “They are the difference between life and death for so many people in Gaza.”