Israel Agrees to Open Erez Crossing for Gaza Aid After Biden Pressure, U.S. Says

By John Mercury April 5, 2024

Israel has agreed to open another crossing and increase the flow of aid getting into Gaza, a move seemingly aimed at tempering the U.S. president’s growing frustration over the dire humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

The Israeli government confirmed the new measures in an overnight statement, after the Biden administration announced them late Thursday after a tense phone call between President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the call, Mr. Biden threatened to condition future support for Israel on how it addresses his concerns about civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said that Israel had agreed to open the Erez crossing to allow aid into northern Gaza, to use the port of Ashdod to direct aid into the enclave and to significantly increase deliveries from Jordan — “at the president’s request.”

“These steps,” the spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson, said, “must now be fully and rapidly implemented.”

The Israeli government did not say when it would open Erez crossing, a checkpoint between Israel and northern Gaza that Hamas attacked on Oct. 7 and that Israel had refused to re-open since. It said only that Israel would allow the “temporary delivery” of aid through the Erez crossing and the port of Ashdod, which sits about 16 miles north of Gaza on Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Israel has come under rising pressure from U.S. officials and humanitarian agencies to open more border crossings for aid amid warnings from the United Nations that famine looms after nearly six months of war.


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