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Israel still imposing 'unlawful' restrictions on Gaza aid, says UN rights office 

April 16, 2024 at 12:03 pm

Palestinians, who are unable to meet their basic needs due to the Israeli army’s obstruction of humanitarian aid, receive bags of flour from an aid truck in the north of Gaza City, Gaza on 14 April, 2024 [Ramzi Mahmud/Anadolu Agency]

Israel is still imposing “unlawful” restrictions on humanitarian relief for Gaza, the UN human rights office said on Tuesday, despite assertions from the occupation state and others that restrictions have eased.

Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip triggered by the Hamas incursion on 7 October has turned much of the Gaza strip into a wasteland, with at least 1.2 million Palestinians now displaced and crowded into the southern corner of the enclave. Cases of malnutrition and starvation are on the increase, as famine looms.

The amount of humanitarian aid now entering Gaza is disputed, Reuters has reported. Israel and the US claim that aid flows have risen in recent days, but UN agencies say that this is still far below bare minimum levels required to meet basic needs.

“Israel continues to impose unlawful restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian assistance, and [continues] to carry out widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN human rights office, at a press briefing in Geneva. She reiterated calls for unfettered aid access.

The apartheid state denies hindering humanitarian relief to Gaza, but has still faced increased international pressure to let more supplies into the Gaza Strip since it attacked an aid convoy on 1 April and killed seven international relief workers.

“Those delivering or trying to access humanitarian assistance must never be attacked,” added Shamdasani.

READ: Israel bombs UN school in central Gaza twice in 24 hours