Smoke rises from the northern part of the Gaza Strip as a result of an Israeli airstrike, 17 October 2023. EPA-EFE/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE


EU to launch humanitarian air bridge to Gaza


The European Union will open a humanitarian air corridor to the besieged Gaza via Egypt.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the announcement on October 16. The move comes after “the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas terrorists against Israel and the aftermath, which has led to a disastrous humanitarian situation for the people of Gaza”, she said.

Von der Leyen declared that the Palestinians in Gaza must “not pay the price for the barbarity of Hamas”.

“The Palestinians in Gaza need humanitarian aid”, which is why “we are launching a humanitarian corridor via Egypt”, she said.

The first two flights will leave this week, bringing humanitarian supplies to Gaza, including shelter items, medicines and hygiene kits.

Europe has already tripled its humanitarian assistance to Gaza to some €75 million.

The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need since 2000, despite suggestions aid could have been deviated for other uses.

Just before von der Leyen’s comments, the World Health Organisation had warned that if help was not provided, a “real catastrophe” would occur in Gaza.

The region has been under siege since the violent terror attack by Hamas on Israel on October 6.

Since the beginning of the  current conflict, more than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, the vast majority civilians who died on the first day of the assault.

According to Israel, Hamas has also taken 199 captives hostage. Israeli retaliation has reportedly killed at least 2,750 individuals in Gaza, most of whom were Palestinian civilians, including hundreds of youngsters.

A million Palestinians have sought safety in southern Gaza since October 7, locked in an enclave controlled by Hamas. They have been cut off from the rest of the world for the past 10 days and deprived of even the most basic necessities.