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Gaza: World Food Programme ‘concerned’ about closure of border crossings

May 8, 2024 at 1:24 pm

Palestinians with their packed belongings, continue to flee from the eastern neighbourhoods of the city due to ongoing Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on May 8, 2024 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The World Food Programme (WFP) expressed concern on Tuesday over the closure of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings, both of which are crucial entry points for humanitarian aid to get into the besieged Gaza Strip, Anadolu has reported.

“The closures pose challenges for aid delivery,” said the WFP on X. “Current WFP stocks only cover 1-4 days of needs in Rafah, Deir Al Balah and Khan Younis.”

The Israeli army said early on Tuesday that it had seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing from southern Gaza into Egypt.

Israel’s war cabinet decided to push ahead with a huge military operation in Rafah despite Palestinian resistance movement Hamas announcing on Monday that it had accepted a Qatar-Egypt proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Israeli army issued immediate evacuation orders early on Monday for Palestinians in eastern Rafah, which is where more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge from the war launched by Israel in October, ostensibly to destroy the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, after its 7 October attack on southern Israel.

Although around 1,200 Israelis were killed on that day, many were actually killed by Israel Defence Forces tanks and helicopters, not Hamas fighters, according to reports in Israeli media. Just over 250 hostages were taken back to Gaza.

The occupation state’s subsequent military offensive has to-date killed 35,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women, and wounded 70,000 more. An estimated 8,000 Palestinians are missing, presumed dead, under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israel.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lie in ruins, pushing 85 per cent of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, the UN has pointed out.

The occupation state stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which it denies. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. South Africa, which took the apartheid state to the ICJ, has since claimed that Israel is ignoring the court’s ruling.

READ: Israel did not agree to any proposal presented by mediators, says Hamas official