JERUSALEM (NEWSnet/AP) — The Israeli military said Wednesday that it has reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, seen as a possible key terminal for humanitarian aid.

But the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said no aid has yet entered and there is no one to receive it on the Palestinian side. Workers had fled during an incursion by an Israeli tank brigade on Tuesday that captured the nearby Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which remains closed.

In the meantime, the United States paused a shipment of bombs to Israel last week over concerns that Israel was approaching a decision on launching a full-scale assault on Rafah, in a further widening of divisions between the two close allies.

The U.S. says it is concerned over the fate of around 1.3 million Palestinians crammed into Rafah, most of whom fled fighting elsewhere. Israel says Rafah is Hamas' last stronghold and that a wider offensive there is needed to dismantle the group's military and governing capabilities.

President Joe Biden has repeatedly warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against launching an invasion of Rafah. But Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners have threatened to bring down his government if he calls off an offensive or makes too many concessions in the cease-fire talks.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.