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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Aid delivery to Gaza “almost impossible” amid intensified fighting: UN


The United Nations (UN) on Thursday considered humanitarian aid distribution “almost impossible” in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing war between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which has lasted over 200 days.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that distributing humanitarian aid “is almost impossible” in Gaza, due to the irregular fuel supply and interrupted communications amid intense fighting there.

OCHA said in a statement posted on social media platform X that key crossings for aid into Gaza have been closed for several days and now the access to the Palestinian enclave is neither safe nor logistically feasible.

On May 5, Israel closed the only commercial crossing of Kerem Shalom with Gaza, in response to a Hamas rocket attack on an Israeli military point nearby that killed four soldiers.

Shortly after its reopening on May 8, militants fired eight rockets from southern Gaza’s Rafah toward the Kerem Shalom crossing area in Israel.

The attack came after the Israeli army announced on May 7 “operational control” of the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing, which in effect closed this crucial entry point for truckloads of aid from Egypt into Gaza.

OCHA and other humanitarian organisations warned of the devastating impact of the crossings’ closure on over 2 million Palestinians in war-stricken Gaza.

On Thursday, the Jordan Armed Forces said it conducted three airdrops of humanitarian aid over various locations in southern Gaza.

The move was part of Jordan’s commitment to assisting Gazans to overcome the difficult conditions, said the army without detailing further.

Earlier in the day, local sources and eyewitnesses in Gaza told Xinhua that aircraft were seen flying over and dropping food aid through parachutes in Al-Mawasi, an open area along the enclave’s southwestern coast that is now flocked with residents coming at the Israeli army’s evacuation order.

This is the first eyewitness report of an aid drop operation in Rafah since the Israeli army’s renewed attacks on the southernmost Gazan city last week.

Israel has launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in Gaza to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct. 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage.

According to Gaza-based health authorities, the persistent Israeli attacks have led to more than 35,000 Palestinians killed and over 79,000 wounded in the enclave.

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