Gaza Faces Critical Hunger as UN Suspends Aid Due to Military Operations

World | May 22, 2024, Wednesday // 09:16
Bulgaria: Gaza Faces Critical Hunger as UN Suspends Aid Due to Military Operations

The United Nations has halted food distribution in Rafah due to a severe shortage of supplies and insecurity in the area, as reported by Voice of America (VOA). Amid escalating hunger and a critical food shortage in Gaza, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced on Tuesday that distribution centers operated by the World Food Program and UNRWA, the agency for Palestinian refugees, are currently inaccessible because of ongoing military operations in Rafah. The UN stated that over 1 million people are experiencing high levels of hunger.

The Rafah crossing into Egypt, previously a main aid entry point, has been closed since May 6, with no aid trucks crossing the US-built floating pier in the last two days, according to the UN. A World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson noted that humanitarian operations in Gaza are on the brink of collapse. Abeer Etefa, a WFP spokesperson, warned that without the resumption of food and supply deliveries in large quantities, famine-like conditions would spread.

UNRWA highlighted that its health centers have not received medical supplies for ten days, although healthcare staff continue to provide medical consultations. Additionally, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza has been "under siege" since May 19, with no one allowed to leave or enter. He mentioned that 22 patients, their companions, and 148 hospital staff are trapped inside.

On Monday, medical staff at Al-Awda Hospital reported a sniper attack, and an artillery rocket struck the fifth floor where the administration office is located, though no injuries were reported. Following the attack, the WHO chief called for humanitarian access to the hospital and an immediate ceasefire.

A senior Washington administration official stated that multiple crossing points for aid into Gaza now exist, including a humanitarian sea corridor where aid is inspected in Cyprus and delivered to the Israeli port of Ashdod without further inspection. The official emphasized the goal of maximizing aid delivery, with various groups inside Gaza responsible for distribution.

Israeli forces conducted a deadly raid on Tuesday in the occupied West Bank and engaged with Hamas fighters in southern Gaza. Israeli ground troops and aircraft were involved in battles in Rafah, while troops also fought in central and northern Gaza, resulting in the deaths of at least five people in Rafah, as reported by VOA.

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Tags: United Nations, Rafah, Israel, Gaza, UN

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