Hundreds of humanitarian aid trucks are already piling up at the entrance to Rafah, blocked by Israel.

On Tuesday night (5), the Palácio do Planalto confirmed that the humanitarian aid sent by the Brazilian government to the Palestinians was blocked by Israel in Rafah. The information was initially released by Italian deputy Angelo Bonelli, from the Green Europe party, which is in the region, and says that around 400 humanitarian aid packages were at the Rafah crossing, of which 30 were sent by Brazil. The blockade has sparked a diplomatic controversy, with Israel holding the UN, Egypt and Hamas responsible, while claiming to withhold products considered threats to its security.

According to Bonelli, Brazil sent around 30 boxes of inputs, including water filters and freezers. However, the Israelis claimed that the delivery would be “incompatible with and dangerous to the security of the State of Israel”, preventing the supplies from entering.

These inputs are part of the approximately two thousand trucks awaiting authorization from Israel to enter Gaza with humanitarian aid. The vehicles transport supplies, equipment and food from countries such as France, Singapore, Germany, Italy, Spain and Kuwait, among others. The boxes with Brazilian inputs are held in a Red Cross warehouse in Arish, 20 km from the border with Gaza.

Bonelli released videos showing the situation of the stranded trucks, highlighting the long queue of vehicles awaiting authorization to enter Gaza. He is in the region with a delegation of 14 Italian opposition parliamentarians, who arrived in Rafah three days ago.

The blockades are carried out by the Israeli military forces that control the border region in Rafah, monitoring everything that enters Palestinian territory using X-ray equipment. Items such as oxygen cylinders, beds for long-term care, incubators, refrigerators, tents, crutches and even solar panels were blocked by the Israelis and are waiting in the Red Cross warehouse.

This blocking action occurs at a critical time, with the worsening of the humanitarian tragedy in the region. The World Health Organization has reported that at least 10 children have died of hunger in Gaza in recent days. The organization’s team who visited a hospital in northern Gaza over the weekend witnessed the bleak scene, highlighting severe levels of malnutrition, shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies, as well as the destruction of hospital buildings. WHO director Tedros Adhanom expressed his concern about the situation through social media, highlighting the urgency of action to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Diplomatic tension

In response to the accusations, the Israeli Embassy in Brasília stated that part of the aid is released under strict supervision to prevent the entry of equipment intended for “terrorist groups”. However, the Israeli government denies having specific information about the retention of 30 boxes of freezers and water filters sent by Brazil, in addition to refuting the allegation that 400 boxes of food and products were retained in Al Arish, on the border between Egypt and Gaza.

Italian deputy Angelo Bonelli disputes Israel’s statements, stating that Israeli authorities are preventing food from entering while Palestinian children die of hunger.

The relationship between Brazil and Israel was already strained due to statements by President Lula, who accused Israel of genocide, and the subsequent summons of ambassadors for clarification. The current crisis increases Israel’s diplomatic isolation and reinforces the urgency of solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Although diplomatic interlocutors minimize the issue as a common security measure, in a context where relations between Brazil and Israel are tense, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva vehemently criticized Israel’s action. Lula stated that the population of the Gaza Strip has been prevented from receiving humanitarian aid, denouncing the situation as unacceptable.

“It is not possible to continue this killing without the UN security council stopping this war and allowing food and medicine to arrive. There are more than 30 tons of food stored that cannot reach”, declared President Lula.

The diplomatic crisis between the two countries began last month, when President Lula compared the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza to the slaughter of Jews in World War II. In response, the Israeli government summoned the Brazilian ambassador, Frederico Meyer, to a meeting considered “unacceptable” by the Brazilian foreign ministry, at the Holocaust Museum, in Jerusalem, resulting in Meyer’s return to Brazil.


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