Israel's relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip has left wide swathes of the territory in ruins AFP

Israel's Cabinet has granted permission for the opening of operations at an important border crossing in northern Gaza amid escalating pressure for increased humanitarian aid access to the Palestinian population.

Israel's Prime Minister's office has announced immediate measures to facilitate the opening of the Erez border crossing after pressure from both the U.S. and the global community to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance into the Gaza Strip.

The Cabinet also sanctioned the use of the Israeli Port of Ashdod to facilitate transfer of additional aid to Gaza, according to CNN.

The decision comes after U.S. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the humanitarian conditions in Gaza are unacceptable. Biden cautioned Israel to undertake measures to resolve the crisis immediately or potentially face repercussions.

Amid Israel's conflict with Hamas, the United Nations is issuing warnings of potential famine in northern Gaza due to Palestinian struggles to obtain essential necessities such as food and water.

The opening of the Erez checkpoint will mark the third accessible entry point for aid deliveries into Gaza. Currenlty there are access points at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel and another located at the border with Egypt in the city of Rafah.

The Erez crossing, initially a pedestrian pathway, was breached by Hamas fighters on October 7 during their attack on Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people and the abduction of 250 others.

"This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war," a statement by Israel said on Thursday.

It also said the Israeli government will increase the amount of "Jordanian aid through Kerem Shalom".

The White House welcomed the decision and said in a press release: "As the President said today on the call, U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel's immediate action on these and other steps, including steps to protect innocent civilians and the safety of aid workers," the White House said in a press release.

"We are prepared to work in full coordination with the Government of Israel, the Governments of Jordan and Egypt, the United Nations, and humanitarian organizations, to ensure that these important steps are implemented and result in a significant increase in humanitarian assistance reaching civilians in dire need throughout Gaza over the coming days and weeks."

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson also welcomed the steps and said they "must now be fully and rapidly implemented."