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Hamas terrorists launched a barrage of rockets into Israel, with some coming from Rafah. Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted most of the rockets, but alarms went off in major cities. This attack occurred as Israeli forces are increasing operations in Rafah, which is a major stronghold for Hamas in Gaza. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was in retaliation for alleged “Zionist massacres.” Israel has been under pressure to stop its operations in Rafah, where many displaced Gazans reside. The government encouraged civilians to evacuate the areas targeted for military operations to reduce civilian casualties.

Rafah, located on the border with Egypt, historically served as a major humanitarian aid artery. However, Israel recently took control of the Gazan side of the border, causing Egypt to halt the flow of aid. Egypt insisted on the return of control of the Gaza side to Palestinians before reopening the Rafah crossing. As a temporary solution, aid was redirected through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, but access has been impeded by ongoing fighting in the area. This new agreement came after a phone call between President Biden and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, leading to hundreds of aid trucks passing through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The United States constructed a “floating pier” off the Gaza coast to facilitate aid delivery, but it suffered damages due to rough weather. Despite the $320 million investment in the pier, none of the 569 metric tons of aid transferred through it had reached the Palestinians as of last week. The pier has served as a conduit for aid from the U.S. and other countries, but challenges in distributing the aid have hindered its effectiveness. The U.S. military confirmed the damage to the pier, with four stabilizing vessels detaching as a result of the inclement weather, impacting its functionality.

The situation in Gaza has sparked controversy and concern, particularly surrounding the cost and security measures involved. The ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis have put immense pressure on all parties involved. While Israel faces international pressure over its military operations, Hamas continues with attacks, citing retaliation for alleged actions by Israel. The U.S.’s efforts to provide aid through the floating pier have faced logistical challenges, preventing the delivery of essential supplies to Palestinians in need. The complex dynamics and escalating tensions in Gaza underscore the urgent need for a sustainable solution to address the humanitarian crisis and bring about lasting peace in the region.

In the midst of the escalating conflict, the fate of Rafah remains uncertain as it continues to be a focal point for Israeli military operations and Hamas attacks. The control of the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt is a contentious issue, with Egypt demanding Palestinian control of the Gaza side before reopening Rafah. The temporary diversion of aid through Israel’s crossing reflects the challenges faced in ensuring the delivery of humanitarian assistance amidst the ongoing violence. The need for international cooperation and diplomatic efforts to stabilize the situation in Gaza and facilitate aid delivery has become increasingly urgent as the humanitarian crisis worsens.

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