Aid is scheduled to be distributed from the new US dock off Gaza this weekend

Deir al-Balah (Gaza Strip) – The first distribution of much-needed aid is expected to begin at the end of this week after the end of the distribution process. Newly built American Pier Off the coast Gazaeven as aid workers warn that more access to the besieged area is needed famine It may be underway.

Israeli restrictions and intense fighting in the war against Hamas – now in its eighth month – have left residents in parts of Gaza scavenging for grass and animal feed, skipping meals and subsisting on a lackluster diet of bread. Deliveries to the region, which relies largely on humanitarian aid, are still far from the average of about 500 trucks entering daily before the war.

UN officials did not say where the truckloads of food would be distributed after they arrived on Friday and would be stored in central Deir al-Balah.

U.S. military officials expect the dock operation to reach 150 truckloads per day. Risks include attacks, logistical obstacles and increasing fuel shortages.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza began after an October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostage. Israel says that about 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, along with the bodies of about 30 others.

Local health officials say the Israeli attack killed more than 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza, while hundreds more were killed in the occupied West Bank.

Medical officials said that at least five police officers were killed on Saturday in an Israeli raid on a car in the Nuseirat refugee camp. They were taken to a hospital in Deir al-Balah and were counted by Associated Press journalists. The police are a civilian force distinct from the military wing of Hamas.

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During the night, at least three people were killed in an air strike that hit a house in the Berbera refugee camp in the city of Rafah in the south of the country, according to the Kuwaiti Hospital. The hospital said that during the past 24 hours, it received the bodies of six people killed in the Israeli raids. The army said it was still active in eastern Rafah.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that a person was martyred when an Israeli raid hit the city of Jenin on Friday evening. The Israeli army said it struck a militant command center and killed Islam Khamaysa. He was a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in Jenin, according to the movement and the army.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under increasing pressure on multiple fronts. The hardliners in his government want the military attack on Rafah to go ahead with the aim of crushing Hamas. The United States and others, its biggest ally, warned against attacking the city where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have taken refuge – and hundreds of thousands have now fled – and they did. He threatened To reduce support for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will be in Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend to discuss the war and is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu. Who announced And that Israel will “stand alone” if necessary.

Many Israelis, who are concerned about the hostages and accuse Netanyahu of putting political interests above all else, want an agreement to stop the fighting and release them. There was new frustration on Friday when the army announced that its forces were in Gaza The bodies of three hostages were found Hamas killed him in the October 7 attack.

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Recent talks aimed at a ceasefire, brokered by Qatar, the United States and Egypt, did not achieve much. The post-war vision is also uncertain. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, a member of the three-member military cabinet, said last week He said publicly He has repeatedly called on the Cabinet to decide on a post-war vision for Gaza that would see the establishment of a new Palestinian civilian leadership.

Meanwhile, fighting It recently broke out again In places Israel targeted in the first days of the war and said it was under control, especially in northern Gaza.

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Jeffrey reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writer Sam Mednick in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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