India sends humanitarian aid to strife-torn Gaza as Israel issues new evacuation warning

India sent out humanitarian aid to war-torn Palestine on Sunday after the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza finally opened to allow desperately needed help to flow in for the first time since Israel sealed off the territory.

An Indian Air Force C-17 flight flew off from Delhi on Sunday morning carrying nearly 6.5 tonnes of medical aid and 32 tonnes of disaster relief material for the people of Palestine.

The plane will reach the El-Arish airport in Egypt, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“The material includes essential life-saving medicines, surgical items, tents, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, sanitary utilities, water purification tablets among other necessary items,” the MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Many countries have pledged aid to the besieged Gaza Strip where millions of people are stuck without access to food and water after Israel sealed off the territory as part of its attacks on the narrow strip following Hamas’ 7 October attack.

After days of negotiations, one route, the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza, has been opened for aid to arrive. However, on the first day on Saturday, only 20 vehicles were allowed to enter, which activists say was too little to support millions.

The first truck from the United Nations entered the region yesterday. The trucks were carrying 44,000 bottles of drinking water from the UN’s children’s agency - enough for 22,000 people for a single day, it said.

“This first, limited water will save lives, but the needs are immediate and immense,” said Unicef executive director Catherine Russell.

More than 200 trucks carrying roughly 3,000 tons of aid have been positioned near the crossing for days, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier today, Israel warned it would “increase” its attacks in Gaza’s north and called on Gazans to move south out of harm’s way.

“For your own safety move southward. We will continue to attack in the area of Gaza City and increase attacks,” Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a briefing to Israeli reporters.

More than 4,300 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. That includes the disputed toll from a hospital explosion. The ministry says another 1,400 are believed to have been buried under rubble.

Al-Jazeera reported that Palestinians are receiving renewed warnings from Israel’s military to move to the south of the Gaza Strip.