House Democrats urge Biden to ensure aid enters Gaza from Israel and Egypt

kerem shalom crossing june 2021 afp
A Palestinian police officer searches a truck slated for export at Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza Strip on 21 June 2021 (credit: AFP)
Lawmakers decry lack of clarity over what materials are allowed into Gaza by Israel, call for full reopening of border crossings.

By MEE staff | Middle East Eye | Aug 19, 2021

Israel has prevented the import of raw materials, building materials, electrical appliances and equipment, as well as wood, metal and plastic equipment into Gaza, while imposing strict restrictions on exports, allowing only small quantities of produce and fish to come out of the Palestinian territory.

More than 50 House Democrats have called on the Biden administration to work with Egypt and Israel to ensure the delivery of aid into Gaza, as the lawmakers cited concerns over the prohibition of materials entering the besieged strip months after Israel’s offensive left a devastating humanitarian toll on the country.

The group of 53 lawmakers sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, urging him to push for a full reopening of the Kerem Shalom, Erez, and Rafah border crossings into Gaza, adding that the Rafah crossing at Egypt’s border was not enough.

“The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza is untenable. Ensuring that Palestinians residing in Gaza receive humanitarian aid is vital to securing the wellbeing of Gaza’s 2.1 million residents,” read the letter, led by Congressman Mark Pocan and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

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