Tel Aviv, Israel — Israel will soon open a new crossing to deliver humanitarian aid into the hard-hit northern Gaza Strip, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday.

Gallant’s announcement comes at a time of heavy US pressure to increase the flow of desperately needed aid into Gaza. Earlier Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said Israel’s efforts are still “not enough.”

Israeli officials say the new crossing will be built instead of using the damaged Erez crossing, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged last week to open. Erez was destroyed by Hamas militants during their October 7 attack and was designed for pedestrians, not cargo, according to COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs.

An official from COGAT said the new crossing would be close to the beachfront on Gaza’s northern tip. It was not clear exactly when the

crossing will be opened. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

At a briefing with reporters, Gallant said Israel plans a number of additional steps to improve the humanitarian situation – including using its port in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod to accept aid shipments for the Palestinians. It was not clear when the port would open.

He also says Israel will allow Jordan to deliver more aid to Gaza, and that Israel is working with the US on infrastructure projects such as new water lines.

Israel faces pressure from the US to increase aid into Gaza, where its offensive has wreaked an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Aid groups say supplies are not reaching people quickly enough, blaming Israeli restrictions and noting that thousands of trucks are waiting to enter Gaza.

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