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Gaza Aid Gains May Be Lost as Fighting Rages in Rafah, U.S. Says

WorldGaza Aid Gains May Be Lost as Fighting Rages in Rafah, U.S. Says

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken warned on Wednesday that recent gains in getting desperately needed humanitarian aid to people in the Gaza Strip risked being undone by the fighting in southern Gaza.

For over a week, since Israel began what it describes as a limited military operation against Hamas in the southern city of Rafah, one border crossing vital to the transit of the aid has been closed, and another severely restricted.

“At the very time when Israel was taking important and much needed steps to improve the provision of humanitarian assistance,” Mr. Blinken said, “we’ve seen a negative impact on the fact that we have this active, very active conflict in the in the Rafah area.”

He noted that “we also seen Hamas firing at the crossings themselves, making it also more difficult.”

Mr. Blinken’s comments came as Israel and Egypt traded blame over the continued closure of the crossing between Egypt and Gaza nearly 10 days after the Israeli army took over the Gazan side.

Hundreds of trucks in Egypt have been blocked from reaching Gaza, and wounded and ill people in Gaza who need medical care outside the territory, as well as families trying to escape the war, have been unable to leave.

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