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As the aid struggle increases in Gaza, Israel and the UN trade blames

  • Posted on June 22, 2024
  • News

Aid delivery to Gaza faces severe challenges amid rising lawlessness and political tensions. UN and Israeli authorities trade blame over distribution inefficiencies, while Palestinians struggle with food shortages. The humanitarian crisis deepens as aid pallets wait at the border.


As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza deepens, a stark scene unfolds at the Israel-Gaza border: Piles of pallets filled with food arrive, to rot away in the sun, while Palestinian children starve to death a few miles down the road. Although there was a temporary ceasefire in day time for at least a week near the primary Kerem Shalom crossing point, the aid agencies describe that they continue to face substantial hurdles in the distribution of essential goods to the south of Gaza strip.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the situation is hampered by increasing insecurity. Currently, OCHA’s head in Gaza, Georgios Petropoulos said that the impact was felt last Tuesday whereby about ¾ of the goods which were imported through the crossing were stolen. Militias raid and halt relief vehicles, especially those conveying cigarettes since these commodities sell at premium rates in Gaza.

This is because, as claimed by the Israeli authorities through the Cogat (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), they do not impose any upper ceiling on the quantity of humanitarian aid that is allowed into Gaza. UN human rights spokesman Shimon Freedman said that the UN had a lack of distribution capabilities, it was lacked trucks, employees and working hours.

These allegations are denied by aid organizations during their operations they cannot be easy in an active war zone region. Sean Carroll, president of American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera), said: “We have enlisted many new employees and several hundred volunteers for distribution or delivery of aid supplies; 28 million meals have been provided as well as six million medical treatments. ” However, he pointed out that more people cannot solve problems such as volatile situations, roads that cannot be crossed, and a lack of fuel.

The situation became worse in may when Israel started launching ground attacks and occupying Rafah; about a million Palestinians were displaced and this made it hard for them to access the vital storage and distribution facilities. Sources from the United Nations estimated that the daily average number of truck entries delivering aid declined to 42% in May than in April and further declined in early June.

The respondents also mentioned that there was no international aid at all in Khan Younis. Mahmoud al-Biss, who has to feed two children, said to the BBC, ‘When we were living in Rafah, it was quite rare that we’d see the aid, would it be 20 days ago since we moved here?’

With desperation on the rise, there are reports of people stealing food aid trucks as well as stoning those that attempt to deliver the food, making the situation a vicious cycle. To this breakdown in order some donated items are alleged to have been sold at market stalls, not by the intended recipients.

Political constraints within Israel to alleviate Gaza’s food conditions have led to atypical tensions between the political and the military establishments. Hamas claims that more supplies are needed to meet Gazans’ needs, while far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich argued that allowing more supplies into Gaza would harm the war’s outcome.

Given that the humanitarian situation is dire, there is a desperate need for an efficient and organized systems for the delivery of aid. In the words of Petropoulos from OCHA, “we have to find a system that works which is based on good faith and which assumes some degree of trust towards the United Nations. ”

Also Read: Aid convoy of UN denied to enter the northern Gaza strip due to escalated humanitarian crises

As the crisis continues, the people of Gaza, like Mahmoud al-Biss, express their frustration and desperation: “This is the worst of all scenarios I can think of” Not only is the woman displaced, but she is left alone with her two children to fend for themselves “Nobody is there to support me. ”

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