Saudi Arabia steps up air, sea and land aid bridge for Gaza

Kingdom sends its 21st plane loaded with aid for besieged enclave through KSRelief

A Saudi relief convoy at the Rafah crossing linking Egypt to Gaza. Photo: KSRelief
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King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) has announced the departure of the 21st Saudi relief plane for Gaza, carrying aid supplies for the beleaguered enclave, where 2.3 million people are facing starvation.

"In preparation for transporting it to the affected people in Gaza, the plane carries relief aid, various food items, shelter and medical items, weighing 39 tonnes, as part of the popular campaign for relief of the brotherly Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip," KSRelief said in a statement on Monday.

On Sunday, Saudi relief convoys provided by KSRelief crossed the Rafah land border into the Gaza Strip, where an estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced from their homes by fighting and Israeli bombardment.

Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabiah, supervisor general of KSRelief, visited the centre for logistics services of the Egyptian Red Crescent in the city of Arish, in preparation for a land, sea and air bridge from Saudi Arabia to Gaza.

On Saturday a second shipment of relief for the Palestinian people set sail from Jeddah Islamic port to Port Said in Egypt, carrying 58 containers with a total weight of 807 tonnes, of which 21 containers were carrying medical equipment and medicine, with 37 carrying food and milk powder.

Dr bin Abdulaziz Al Rabiah, who is also an adviser to the Royal Court, met Germany's special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues Deike Potzel in Riyadh on Sunday.

Mr Potzel commended KSrelief's efforts, state media reported.

The World Health Organisation and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre signed a letter of intent for $10 million to solidify their commitment to collaborative humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

"The support funded by KSRelief will be aligned with WHO’s operational plan for the occupied Palestinian territory, with a focus on ensuring the availability of life-saving medical supplies and equipment in the Gaza Strip, as well as fuel availability," the WHO said.

KSrelief signed agreements to finance the World Food Programme and with UNRWA, the UN agency in Palestinian territory, to provide food and water, sanitation and hygiene, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On the domestic front, the Saudi leadership issued directives to launch a fund-raising campaign on its public Sahem Platform, affiliated with KSrelief, to provide for the "brotherly Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip".

King Salman made an $8 million donation and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman donated $5.3 million during the launch of the campaign.

Total donations so far had exceeded $143 million as of Monday afternoon.

Updated: November 27, 2023, 12:01 PM