54 tonnes of humanitarian aid intended for civilians in the Gaza Strip will be urgently transported from France to Egypt this Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday October 26. The special plane, which will depart from Paris, was made available by the CMA CGM Foundation.
In a press release, the Quai d'Orsay then detailed the equipment collected: emergency medical kits capable of treating up to 500 seriously injured people, 18 emergency respirators, 1000 solar lamps, around ten generators, 336 tents capable of each one to accommodate a family, 28 tonnes of food supplements, and 70,000 drinking water tablets.
Many of this equipment was provided by humanitarian associations, and the plane will also carry a donation from the Tulip Foundation and the NGO Première Urgence Internationale: 58 trunks of medicines, each allowing the care of 500 patients. All equipment will be donated to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
The announcement was then confirmed by Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, invited to speak on RTL on Friday morning. She recalled the importance of respecting international rules, explaining that, if “Israel, like any State, has the right to defend itself”, it must nevertheless do so “with respect for international law, and in particular international humanitarian law. ”, in order to “protect civilian populations as much as possible”.
The minister then insisted on the distinction between “targeted operations” and “indiscriminate operations which would affect civilian populations too much”. And added: “the bombings cause too many civilian victims.”
Asked about the fate of French nationals, Catherine Colonna mentioned the 9 French people still missing, some undoubtedly held hostage, before specifying that France was also monitoring the “170 French people” living in Gaza closely.
In Gaza, “it lacks everything,” lamented the minister. “No water, no electricity, a few solar chargers for phones, no medicine, no blankets, the nights are getting cold…”, reasons why “it is now essential to bring in humanitarian aid to Gaza as quickly as possible, sustainably, and in much larger volumes,” according to Catherine Colonna. “The conditions for entry of aid must be relaxed,” insisted the minister, even if for the moment “pauses”, “truces” remain the priority, while a ceasefire is a longer term perspective.
In addition to the 54 tonnes of humanitarian equipment, the “Tonnerre”, a French amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA) equipped with medical capabilities, has been sailing towards Cyprus since Wednesday, in accordance with Emmanuel Macron's announcement in Cairo.
In Gaza, the “complete siege” imposed on the 362 km² strip of Palestinian land prevents infrastructure, notably hospitals, from having access to electricity. The maritime siege set up by Israel currently prevents any ship from directly accessing Gaza.
Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, humanitarian aid granted to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip has remained hampered. Only 74 trucks were able to enter the area attacked by the Jewish state from Egypt, according to a statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday. However, before the crisis, 500 trucks per day crossed the border between Israel and Gaza to meet the needs of water, electricity and supplies in the landlocked territory.