Creating new perspectives since 2009

Humanitarian access 'fundamental to counter' water shortage in Gaza: UN agency

May 20, 2024 at 7:32 pm

Palestinians, including children, struggle to provide water from mobile tanks to their families as Israeli attacks continue in Rafah, Gaza on April 30, 2024 [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, (UNRWA), called Monday for safe humanitarian access to the besieged Gaza Strip amid a critical water shortage and high temperatures, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Safe and guaranteed humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip is fundamental to counter the critical shortage of water displaced families are facing – particularly now during high temperatures,” UNRWA said in a statement.

“The health and lives of people depend on unimpeded access [to humanitarian aid] and an immediate ceasefire.”

The Israeli army launched a ground offensive on 6 May in the southern city of Rafah, home to 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, with UNRWA estimating more than 800,000 people have fled the city since the start of the Israeli attack.

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

More than 35,500 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 79,600 others injured since last October following a Hamas attack.

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 stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: UNRWA says 800,000 Palestinians displaced from Rafah during Israel’s offensive in the city