The UN describes the humanitarian aid that has entered Gaza as “crumbs” | International
The flow of aid that is arriving these days in Gaza across the border with Egypt to serve a population of 2.3 million inhabitants is “a drop in the middle of the ocean,” estimates Nebal Farsakh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent. . The director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, even describes it as “crumbs.” He assures that a few trucks do not mean the end of the blockade of the Strip and that without a “humanitarian ceasefire” it will not be possible to care for the victims of the blockade and bombings. Ten foreign doctors and ten trucks with medicine, food and water - but not fuel, which Israel refuses to accept - arrived on Friday morning, as confirmed by a border official to the Reuters agency. That brings the total to 84 since the current war began on October 7.
During the early hours of the morning, the Israeli army carried out a new ground incursion into Gaza, supported by aerial means, in preparation for the invasion with which they intend to put an end to Hamas, which governs that territory and whose armed wing led the major attack on Israeli territory. three weeks ago. The Israeli army has reported hitting 250 of the group's targets and killing Madhath Mubashar, its chief in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.
In parallel, there are signs that the sparks of conflict may spread to the region. In neighboring Egypt, the tourist cities of Taba and Nuweida, on the shores of the Red Sea and close to Israel, were the scene of attacks this Friday with six wounded, reported the country's military authorities. The United States reported last week that one of its warships in the Red Sea intercepted projectiles launched from Yemen, probably towards Israel, by the Huthi rebels, supported by Iran, also an ally of Hamas. “Israel will work with Egypt and the United States to strengthen regional defense against threats from the Red Sea region,” said Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari, during a television statement cited by Reuters.
That comes on top of US strikes against pro-Iran groups in eastern Syria in response to missile launches in recent days, threatening the war to spread to the entire region. At the same time, Israeli troops carried out new operations in the occupied West Bank with a death toll of four in the early hours of this Friday.
The agreement between Israel and the United States to allow access to basic merchandise for the survival of the inhabitants of Gaza has gone in a week from a “glimmer of hope” to “crumbs” that “distract” from the fact that water, food, fuel and medicine are being “used to collectively punish more than two million people,” the head of UNRWA lamented this Friday. The UN maintains that 450 trucks usually entered the Strip each day. The estimates to be able to face the current crisis would be a hundred per day.
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All this when 20 days of war have passed since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing some 1,400 people and the Israeli army began bombing the Strip indiscriminately with the result of more than 7,000 fatalities. The entry by land of Israeli troops into the Palestinian enclave, as promised by the Government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would make it even more difficult for the inhabitants to access what is essential to survive in a territory where electricity and water supply barely reach. water.
“In the beginning, people could go to the market or the shops. Not now. The stores have empty shelves. The inhabitants are struggling to get food, but there are already people who are going hungry in Gaza,” warns Nebal Farsakh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent in statements by telephone.
At a press conference in Jerusalem, Lazzarini, of UNRWA, insisted that “many” Palestinians will die “soon,” not from the bombings, but from the consequences of the complete blockade imposed by Israel. His colleagues in Gaza, 57 of whom have lost their lives in the three weeks of airstrikes, have begun to tell him about the first cases of hunger within the Strip, he added.
“We have to avoid passing on the message that a few trucks a day means lifting the fence to [introducir] humanitarian aid […] There have been intense negotiations and relentless matchmaking diplomacy to open a humanitarian supply line. So far it has only resulted in a handful of aid convoys. This will not change the fact that Gaza is being strangled,” said Lazzarini, after pointing out that its population feels “left aside, alienated and abandoned” and has begun to take the blame with UNRWA's own personnel (Gazatians like them). , the vast majority), perceiving them as part of “the same international community that seems to have turned its back on Gaza.” “The current system is doomed to fail. What we need is a significant and uninterrupted flow of aid. And to achieve this, we need a humanitarian ceasefire that guarantees that this help reaches those who need it,” he stated.
Fuel, whose entry Israel prevents because it claims that Hamas has it and has stolen it from UNRWA, has focused much of the intervention. The agency has been forced to “drastically limit” its use in recent days, through “difficult decisions” such as determining whether the fifty bakeries to which it provides it, medical centers or its own staff need it more. . “How long can we last? Don't know. But not more than a few days,” he added.
Lazzarini insisted that he has no knowledge of fuel thefts, “no idea” how much the Hamas Government may have. Also in the importance of him arriving from outside Gaza, although he has opened the door to access some deposits inside that store “some” fuel that entered at the time by agreement between Israel and Qatar. His staff will only be able to do so, he added, with the green light from the Armed Forces.
Only two of the bakeries that work for the World Food Program (WFP) have fuel, probably only until Saturday, according to a representative of this UN agency. The WFP states that, as of Wednesday, they can only serve 150,000 people due to lack of fuel, when before they served 200,000.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the incursions by Israeli troops in the early hours of Friday caused at least four deaths, according to the Palestinian Wafa agency, three of them in Jenin and one more in Qalqilia. This other region of occupied Palestine is experiencing its most turbulent and deadly weeks since the outbreak of the Second Intifada (2000-2005).
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