European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday that the European Union (EU) is initiating a humanitarian air bridge operation to Egypt, aimed at providing essential supplies to Gaza. This move comes in response to a recent terrorist attack by Hamas militants against Israel and the ensuing dire humanitarian conditions faced by the people of Gaza.
In an official statement, the European Commission emphasized its commitment to enhancing emergency assistance to the Palestinian population, particularly in the wake of the recent hostilities. The EU air bridge operation will entail multiple flights to Egypt, facilitating the transportation of vital supplies to humanitarian organizations operating within Gaza.
The operation is set to commence this week, with two flights transporting humanitarian cargo from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). These flights will carry essential items such as shelter provisions, medicines, and hygiene kits, with a specific focus on aiding the people of Gaza.
President von der Leyen also disclosed that the EU is boosting its humanitarian aid contribution to 75 million euros ($79 million) to provide substantial support to civilians in Gaza. The funds will be allocated through carefully selected EU humanitarian partners based on their operational capabilities and accessibility on the ground.
Regarding border accessibility, the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt remains a crucial conduit for both people and supplies. However, it has been intermittently closed over the past week, impeding the movement of Gazans and foreign nationals. Consequently, a significant accumulation of vital humanitarian supplies destined for Gaza has occurred on the Egyptian side of the border.