US Doesn’t Think Israel Can Make Good on Hostage Deal Promise to Increase Aid

Israel is refusing to allow aid in through one of its border crossings with Gaza, making it unlikely 200 aid trucks per day will be able to enter the Strip

Biden administration officials told The Times of Israel that they don’t believe Israel can live up to its commitment to allow 200 aid trucks to enter Gaza per day during the pause that’s part of the hostage deal with Hamas.

The officials said Israel is refusing to open its Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza during the four-day pause or at any time after. With only Egypt’s Rafah crossing available, 200 aid trucks will unlikely be able to enter per day.

When Israel unleashed its bombing campaign after the October 7 Hamas attack, it initially refused to allow any aid to enter Gaza. After agreeing to let some in, Israel required aid trucks first to be inspected in Egypt, then inspected at an Israeli crossing before being sent to Rafah to enter Gaza.

The extra steps have slowed down the limited aid that’s entering Gaza, and only a few times since deliveries resumed have aid groups reached their goal of getting 100 trucks into the enclave in a day. US officials have said there’s no indication Israel will open its Kerem Shalom crossing during the truce, putting the hostage deal in peril.

The Biden administration officials said Israel’s stance is “really problematic because the level of aid going into Gaza now is totally unsustainable.” They said Israel’s reasoning for not opening the crossing is “completely political” since there are no security concerns about aid entering Gaza.

Israeli officials have frequently pointed to the limited aid they’ve let enter Gaza to justify their continued onslaught, which the UN’s relief chief has called the worst humanitarian crisis he’s ever seen, even worse than the Killing Fields in Cambodia.

Qatar said on Thursday that the pause in fighting is scheduled to begin at 7 am local time on Friday, with hostage releases expected to start later that day.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.