UN says Israel continues to block aid into northern Gaza after famine

0

Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 2nd April.
UN and its partner agencies on Monday reiterated that Israeli forces are blocking aid deliveries into famine-stricken northern Gaza as the 5 month-long war grinds on despite recent strong demands from the ICJ and the Security Council to open aid access into Gaza and for a temporary ceasefire and the return of all hostages taken in October.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in a regular press briefing in New York that the UN plans a reconnaissance mission into Al-Shifa Hospital, which had been occupied by Israel for two weeks.

According to news reports, over a dozen Palestinians have been killed related to airdrops by multiple nations who are trying to deliver desperately needed aid in the face of Israel’s slow walking food shipments at border crossings into Gaza.

The victims either died by drowning while trying to retrieve food packages from the sea or were fatally struck by falling boxes of aid.

The reports from UN agencies on the ground in Gaza indicate a continuation of airstrikes and attacks.

UN called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for Israel to comply with both a Security Council resolution for a cessation of hostilities during Ramadan, which ends on 10 April, and the International Court of Justice orders last Friday, asked Israel to respect its obligations as a signatory of the Genocide Convention and open border crossings to allow sufficient aid into the enclave.

In its latest situation report, the specialist UN Palestine relief agency UNRWA said Israeli Security Forces (ISF) continued military operations across the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure.

According to the Hamas run Gaza health ministry the Israeli attacks have killed over 32,000 people in Gaza since the war began in October, in retaliation of a Hamas-led incursion into Israel that left 1,200 dead and 240 civilians taken hostage.

UN agency reported that airstrikes and bombardment continued in north Gaza, Khan Younis and Rafah, where UNRWA estimates a total of 1.2 million people are now living in formal and informal shelters.

Over 100 UNRWA schools have been directly or indirectly hit, with some being severely damaged. Many have been used as shelters for displaced families since the war began.

UNRWA posted on social media that “No place is safe in #GazaStrip. This is a war on children, on their childhood and their future. Ceasefire now.

The agency said that access impediments continue to severely compromise the ability of humanitarians to reach people in Gaza.

According to the UN humanitarian coordination office, since 1 March, 30 per cent of humanitarian aid missions to northern Gaza have been denied by Israeli authorities.

UNRWA is disproportionately impacted, with Israeli authorities continuing to deny the agency access to northern Gaza to deliver emergency food assistance since announcing last week that it would no longer approve these shipments.

UNRWA reported there has been no significant change in the volume of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza or improved access to the north, noted that from 1 to 30 March.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters at Headquarters on Monday that in terms of aid shipments, there have only been 159 aid trucks entering Gaza on average per day, well below the operational target of 500 trucks needed daily.,

UNRWA is providing storage and distribution capacity for other agency food and commodities, and reported that since the war broke out, 1.8 million Gazans have received flour, and nearly 600,000 people have received emergency food parcels, he said.

WFP is providing needed food to 1.45 million people in Gaza, but says “it’s not enough.”

“Without a ceasefire and full access, lives are at risk,” the UN agency said.

The reports that Israel had sent the UN Secretary-General a formal plan to dismantle UNRWA, the UN Spokesperson said that no senior UN official in the region has received any plan from Israel and neither has the UN chief.

“Our position on UNRWA remains unchanged, that it is a line of hope for millions of Palestinians in the region, including in Gaza,” he said.

“Currently, it’s the backbone, the spine, the arms and the legs of our humanitarian operation there.”

UN Emergency Humanitarian Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths slammed any efforts to limit UNRWA’s lifesaving work, which is mandated by the UN General Assembly.

“Attempts to sideline UNRWA must stop,” he said.

UNRWA is the backbone of the humanitarian operation in Gaza. Any effort to distribute aid without them is simply doomed to fail.”

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported at the weekend that at least four people were killed and 17 injured after an Israeli airstrike hit Al-Aqsa Hospital in middle area of the Gaza Strip.

“WHO team was on a humanitarian mission at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza, when a tent camp inside the hospital compound was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Sunday,” said Tedros in a social media post.

“WHO staff are all accounted for,” he explained, adding that the team was at the hospital assessing the needs and collecting incubators to be sent to the north of Gaza.

We again call for protection of patients, health personnel and humanitarian missions,” he urged. “The ongoing attacks and militarization of hospitals must stop. International humanitarian law must be respected.”

He called for an immediate end to the hostilities.

“We urge parties to comply with the UN Security Council resolution and ceasefire!”

He spoke out against the Israeli siege of Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza. The two-week-long military operation left many dead and injured, according to media reports.

“Hospitals must be respected and protected; they must not be used as battlefields,” he said.

UN is looking into the two-week siege of Al-Shifa Hospital, the UN Spokesperson Mr. Dujarric said on Monday.

“We’re planning a mission to the hospital as soon as we can get there,” he said.

He said that the mission will help people get medical assistance and assess the state of the hospital, added that WHO had reported that 21 patients had died during the siege.

French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Rivière spoke at the press state out after a closed door meeting said that the Security Council needs to do more to help ease the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in Gaza said

He said the Council had to live up to its responsibilities, after last week’s resolution tabled by the E-10 elected members, demanded an “immediate ceasefire”, which passed when the United States abstained as opposed to vetoing the draft.

Nicolas de Rivière said a “comprehensive” new draft resolution was being presented by France on Monday, calling for an immediate ceasefire without any time limitation and the unconditional release of all hostages. He said it would also condemn the terror attacks by Hamas on 7 October, and full humanitarian access.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.