Gulf, France aid Gaza, Russia evacuates citizens  
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Gulf, France aid Gaza, Russia evacuates citizens  

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A United Arab Emirates humanitarian convoy set off from Al Arish on Sunday heading to Rafah. The convoy will be distributed as part of the UAE’s efforts to aid civilians in Gaza. This is called Gallant Knight 3, and it was “launched under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” the UAE’s WAM news agency noted on Sunday. 

This is one of a series of efforts in the works to support Gaza this week. It is important because it comes in the context of wider moves to try to end the conflict. For instance, there are talks in the region and also talks between Arab countries and China, about efforts to end the fighting. Humanitarian aid is likely one of the easiest ways to support Gaza without getting into the complexities of a ceasefire or other issues. 

Arab News reported on Monday that “a 14th plane carrying aid from Saudi Arabia for Gaza on Sunday arrived at El-Arish International Airport in Egypt, the Saudi Press Agency reported.” This report noted that it consisted of two ambulances out of 20 scheduled to be sent from Saudi Arabia. This campaign comes under the auspices of the Saudi aid agency KSrelief. 

The UAE convoy “comprises 13 trucks carrying a total of 272.5 tonnes of aid. These include 10 trucks carrying 16,800 food packages weighing 252 tonnes to support 84,000 people, and 3 trucks carrying 360 tents weighing 20.5 tonnes,” WAM reported. “The UAE is continuing its humanitarian aid drive to support the Palestinian people as part of Operation ‘Gallant Knight 3’ through the operation of an air bridge. To date, the air bridge facilitated 49 flights aimed at alleviating the suffering of civilians in the Gaza Strip during these dire circumstances.” 

Aid sets sail for Egypt to enter through Rafah crossing

France is also sending a large ship to Egypt. The Dixmude, an amphibious helicopter carrier, set sail for Egypt this week. VOA news said that France is also sending a flight. “A charter flight carrying more than 10 tons of medical supplies is also planned for the start of the week,” VOA reported. “France will also contribute to the European effort with medical equipment on board European flights on November 23 and 30,” the French presidential office said. 

Egyptian Red Crescent members and volunteers gather next to a truck carrying humanitarian aid as it drives through the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, Egypt October 22, 2023 (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

Meanwhile Russian state media said that “Another group of Russian citizens, evacuated from the Gaza Strip earlier, has been delivered to Russia,” TASS reported in Moscow. “A [Russian] Ministry of Emergency Situations Il-76 plane flying from Cairo landed in Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. It delivered a group of 117 Russians, who previously evacuated through the Rafah checkpoint. During the flight, they were accompanied by Ministry medics and psychologists,” the TASS report said.  

These are all important moves. Along with previous Jordanian air drops and the UAE’s decision to set up a field hospital, many countries are contributing to Gaza. As the conflict continues and aid needs become acute these efforts will take on more meaning.  

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