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Israeli troops ready for ground assault as Gaza border crossing set to reopen, says Reuters.

An Egyptian-controlled border crossing into Gaza expected to reopen amid diplomatic efforts

Efforts to Provide Aid to Gaza

The border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which is under Hamas control, is set to reopen after intense diplomatic negotiations. The region has been subject to heavy Israeli bombing following a rampage by Hamas that resulted in the death of 1,300 people on October 7. In response to the assault, Israel has imposed a strict blockade and is preparing for a ground invasion.

Aid Delayed in Egypt

Several countries have sent hundreds of metric tons of aid to Gaza, but the supplies have been held up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula pending a safe delivery agreement. The evacuation of foreign passport holders through the Rafah crossing is also part of the negotiations. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, confirmed that the Rafah crossing will be reopened. Specific details and timing are yet to be determined, with U.S. diplomat David Satterfield arriving in Egypt to iron out the final arrangements.

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Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

As the conflict escalates, Gaza is facing a severe humanitarian crisis. Fuel reserves in hospitals are expected to last only 24 more hours, putting thousands of patients at risk. Authorities in Gaza report that Israel’s retaliatory strikes have resulted in the deaths of at least 2,670 people, including a quarter of them being children. Another 1,000 people are missing and feared to be trapped under rubble. The United States is mobilizing to help alleviate the crisis, anticipating a potential ground offensive.

International Efforts and Concerns

U.S. President Joe Biden has urged Israel to follow the laws of war in its response to the Hamas attacks. He emphasized that the majority of Palestinians are not involved in the conflict and are suffering as a result. Efforts are also underway to prevent the conflict from spreading beyond Gaza, especially as clashes with Lebanon escalate at Israel’s border. Arab leaders in the region are determined to prevent further escalation. Iran, which supports Hamas and Hezbollah, warned Israel of further escalation if the attacks continue.

Israel’s Response and Consequences

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened the country’s expanded emergency cabinet, vowing to demolish Hamas. Israel’s military has targeted Hamas and its infrastructure in response to the attacks. Tanks have been massed along Gaza’s border in preparation for a potential ground offensive. The military chief has assured soldiers that they will root out Hamas and target all its operatives and locations.

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UN Relief Operations and Overwhelming Challenges

The United Nations agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, warns that relief operations in Gaza are on the verge of collapse. The number of people seeking shelter in UNRWA facilities has overwhelmed their capacity to provide assistance. The situation is dire, with limited access to fuel, food, and water due to the blockade. International efforts are crucial to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza.

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