Foreign assistance comes in the midst of an Israel-Hamas truce.

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Humanitarian assistance began to arrive in Gaza on Saturday, the day after an 11-day cease-fire was declared between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved the Egyptian-brokered agreement on Thursday, which went into effect Friday, with both sides declaring victory.

Since the truce, Israel has reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, which allowed various aid agency trucks Saturday to deliver medicine, food and fuel in to Gaza, hard hit by the conflict, BBC News reported.

Palestinian officials told the BBC the impoverished enclave — also struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic — will need tens of millions dollars to rebuild.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees added that it was seeking $38 million in aid to help with its focus on identifying and helping tens of thousands of displaced people.

The Israeli bombing on Al-Wahda Street on May 16 killed more than 40 Palestinians, and leveled or damaged every third building, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Across the Gaza Strip, bombings damaged thousands of buildings throughout the 11-day conflict.

“The damage inflicted in less than two weeks will take years, if not decades to rebuild,” Middle East Director for the International Committee of the Red Cross Fabrizio Carboni tweeted Friday. “Root causes must be addressed.”

The war began on May 10 when Hamas began shooting rockets at Israel with the aim of forcefully displacing Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. In retaliation, Israel launched a bombing campaign that killed over 230 people, and at least 12 Israelis were killed by retaliatory Hamas rocket fire.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs urged a “humanitarian pause” prior to the cease-fire, claiming that violence had displaced 75,000 civilians, with 47,000 taking refuge in UN schools across Gaza and 28,700 living with foster families.

 

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