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UNRWA: Failure to reopen land crossings to worsen humanitarian conditions in Gaza

May 19, 2024 at 10:04 am

Trucks loaded with food head into Rafah as Israeli attacks continue on Gaza on April 03, 2024 [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned on Saturday that the failure to reopen land crossings and provide them secure access would exacerbate the catastrophic humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The crossings must re-open and be safe to access.  Without the re-opening of these routes, the deprivation of assistance and catastrophic humanitarian conditions will persist,” stated UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on X.

“Nearly half of the population of Rafah or 800,000 people are on the road, having been forced to flee since the Israeli Forces started the military operation in the area on 6 May,” he added.

Regarding the humanitarian aid entering the besieged enclave, Lazzarini said: “Since 6 May, only 33 aid trucks made it through to southern Gaza. This is a small trickle amid the growing humanitarian needs and mass displacement. ”

He said: “The claim that people in Gaza can move to ‘safe’ or ‘humanitarian’ zones is false. Each time, it puts the lives of civilians at serious risk.”

Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel is accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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