Rwanda sends humanitarian aid to Gaza

Saturday October 21 2023

Humanitarian aid being offloaded from RwandAir cargo plane in Jordan on October 20, 2023. PHOTO | X via _jhco


Rwanda has sent humanitarian aid to Gaza, displaying solidarity with Palestinian civilians hurt in the war between Israeli and the militant group Hamas.

A Rwandair Cargo plane carrying 16 tons of medicine, food, and water, touched down in Jordan en route to Gaza on a Friday. 

The assistance is expected to reach Gaza through Egypt due to an Israeli blockade preventing direct aid deliveries directly from Jordan.

On Friday the UN said it had brokered a deal for the initial 20 trucks of aid to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, becoming the first such delivery since the war began on October 7.

Read: Deal struck to open Gaza border for aid

"The Government of Rwanda, through the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization acting on behalf of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has provided humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza," Yolande Makolo, Rwanda Government Spokesperson, told The EastAfrican.


"The donation in support of the international relief effort underway was received in Amman on Friday, the 20th, and consists of 16 tons of foodstuff, including fortified food for children, medicines, and medical consumables." 

She also reiterated "the need for de-escalation to protect the lives of innocent civilians." 

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 4,137 following an Israeli rocket bombardment on Gaza, according to the Gaza health ministry, while the UN says that the humanitarian situation has reached "catastrophic levels." 

Read: Guterres denounces 'collective punishment' of Palestinians

When Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza Strip, attacked Israel on October 7 and killed 1,400 people, including children and women, Rwanda condemned the attack and sent condolences to Israel.

The militants also captured 120 hostages, some of whom have been released.

"Rwanda extends its deepest condolences and sympathy to the Government and the People of Israel following the terror attacks in Israeli territory on October 7, 2023, leading to the loss of many lives, numerous injuries, and the abduction of hostages," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on October 8. 

"Rwanda condemns this act of terror, particularly the targeting of innocent civilians. The current situation is worrying and requires urgent de-escalation."

On Friday, Rwanda's State Minister for Regional Cooperation James Kabarebe met with Israeli Ambassador Einat Weiss to discuss "further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries".

The escalating conflict between Gaza and Israel, which has claimed thousands of lives, has divided African nations, with some supporting Israel and others expressing support for Palestine. 

The most vocal support for Palestine was voiced by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who reiterated "South Africa's solidarity with the Palestinian people" while wearing the keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism. 

Read: SA foreign affairs minister speaks with Hamas leader

Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni, condemned "the practice of targeting civilians and non-combatants by the belligerents" and called for a two-state solution. "The outbreak of renewed violence in Israel-Palestine is regrettable. Why don't the two sides implement the two-state solution?" he questioned. 

Kenya's William Ruto condemned the attacks on Israel by Hamas and reiterated support for Israel. "Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians in the country," Ruto said."