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Germany’s Baerbock visits Gaza border as aid deliveries falter

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has personally inspected the situation at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in southern Israel in view of the low levels of aid supplies reaching the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

Baerbock was informed by the director of the facility about how lorries loaded with relief supplies, including food and medicine, are processed at a huge check-in area, which is divided by high concrete walls.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is disastrous as Palestinians in the sealed-off coastal area lack basic necessities such as food, water and medicine. The United Nations has warned of an imminent famine, with around 1.1 million people in the densely populated Gaza Strip in a desperate situation.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing is located in the immediate vicinity of the Egyptian border. It was closed after the terrorist attack by Palestinian extremist organization Hamas on Israel on October 7 and reopened for humanitarian aid deliveries on December 17.

Due to protests by families of victims and radical Israeli settlers who wanted to prevent aid deliveries, the area around the border crossing was declared a restricted military area at the end of January.

An average of 120 lorries with relief supplies are processed every day. Before October 7, around 500 lorry loads reached the Gaza Strip daily, more than 300 of them via Kerem Shalom.

The lorries were carrying relief supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the children’s aid organization Save the Children.

Baerbock and her delegation were the first foreign guests at ministerial level to be allowed access to Kerem Shalom by the Israeli authorities after October 7.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (C) visits the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the Gaza Strip on the Israeli side. Christoph Soeder/dpa-Pool/dpa

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (C) visits the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the Gaza Strip on the Israeli side. Christoph Soeder/dpa-Pool/dpa

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