UN agency for Palestinians says barred from North Gaza aid deliveries

Mar25,2024



The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said that Israel has definitively stopped building aid distribution In northern gazawhere there is danger Draught is the highest.
“Despite the tragedy occurring on our watch, Israeli authorities informed the UN that they will no longer approve any @UNRWA food convoys to the north,” agency head Philippe Lazzarini said on Sunday.
“This is outrageous and deliberate to obstruct life-saving aid during a man-made famine.”
Israel hit back on Monday, saying that UNRWA “has long abandoned its role in providing assistance to northern Gaza. While we work with aid organizations and other UN agencies to provide large amounts of assistance to the north, are doing.”
COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel was “making every possible effort to provide assistance to northern Gaza, including opening a new crossing into northern Gaza”.
Juliet Touma, UNRWA's communications director, said the decision not to approve deliveries to the north was made in a meeting with Israeli military officials on Sunday.
Last week, convoy delivery to the North was refused twice in writing. No reasons were given for the decision, Touma said.
– 'The decision should be rescinded' –
Gaza faces serious challenges human These conditions resulted from Israel's war against Hamas that began nearly six months ago, beginning with Hamas's unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7.
Last week a UN-backed food security assessment warned that famine was expected in Gaza's north by May unless immediate intervention was taken.
UNRWA has not been able to deliver food to the north since January 29, Touma said.
Touma said “the latest decision is another nail in the coffin” for efforts to get desperately needed aid to war-ravaged Gazans.
Martin Griffiths, head of the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination, said on Sunday X that UNRWA was “the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza”.
“The decision to stop food convoys heading north will push thousands of people closer to famine. It must be rescinded,” he said.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter that halting UNRWA aid distribution was “really depriving hungry people of the ability to survive”.
Earlier on Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an end to the “non-stop nightmare” endured by Gaza's 2.4 million people in the region's worst war.
Israel has accused UNRWA staff members of participating in the 7 October attack and has called the agency a “mask of Hamas”.
Touma said Israeli authorities also rejected a UN request on Sunday to send a team to al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza, where fighting has been going on for nearly a week, “to evacuate wounded people”.
The October 7 attack killed about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.
Israel's military campaign to eliminate Hamas has killed at least 32,226 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run region.



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