Israel’s military said Sunday it had opened a new border crossing into the northern Gaza Strip as aid agencies warned that barely any aid was reaching residents of the territory.

“In accordance with the directive of the government of Israel and in coordination with the US government, the ‘Western Erez’ crossing was opened,” the military said in a statement.

The United Nations has said it has not been able to receive aid through Gaza’s two main crossings in days, after the lifelines to the war-weary territory where the world body says famine is looming were closed.

Israeli tanks entered Rafah in southern Gaza on Tuesday, seizing control of the Palestinian side of the crossing from Egypt in a move the UN said denied it a key humanitarian passage to the territory.

Israel said its Kerem Shalom southern crossing with Gaza reopened on Wednesday, three days after being closed because of rocket fire claimed by Hamas’s armed wing.

However, UN agencies and aid groups said they have been unable to transport much-needed supplies through the crossing for security reasons.

The Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli defense ministry body that oversees Palestinian civil affairs, announced “the transfer of 200,000 liters (52,834 gallons) of fuel to international organizations” via Kerem Shalom on Friday.

AFP approached COGAT for more information about the West Erez crossing, but has yet to receive a response.

“Today, dozens of trucks of flour were coordinated from the Port of Ashdod on behalf of the WFP organization after undergoing security checks,” the Israeli army statement said, referring to the UN’s World Food Programme.

The military said the new crossing was opened as “part of the effort to increase aid routes to the Gaza Strip, and to the northern Gaza Strip in particular.”

An AFP correspondent in Gaza City said around 30 trucks could be seen entering the area from the north of the territory.

Transporting aid between the south and north, the first area targeted by the Israeli ground offensive launched on October 27, has proved challenging.

Obstacles include destroyed roads and the checkpoints Israel has installed in the central Wadi Gaza area to strictly control the movement of goods and people.

The offices, warehouses and logistical centers of aid groups are also largely in the territory’s south.

With AFP