Sat. May 18th, 2024

The main route for aid to Gaza has been effectively ‘choked off’. Here’s what that means

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May5,2024
The Israeli military took control of the Palestinian side of Gaza’s southern Rafah crossing on Tuesday, which has been central for the delivery of aid and the exit of injured people in the Gaza war.
United Nations agencies said the two main crossings into the southern Gaza Strip remained shut, virtually cutting off the Palestinian enclave from outside aid with few stocks positioned inside.

The global agency’s humanitarian office spokesperson Jens Laerke told journalists Israel had shut both the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings for aid and people as part of its military operation in Rafah, where around one million displaced people are sheltering.

Main aid arteries cut off

The Israeli military said a limited operation in Rafah was meant to kill fighters and dismantle infrastructure used by Hamas, which governs the besieged Palestinian territory.
“The two main arteries for getting aid into Gaza are currently choked off,” Laerke said, adding UN agencies had very low stocks inside the Gaza Strip since humanitarian supplies were consumed immediately. The enclave has just a one-day buffer of fuel stocks, he said.

“If no fuel comes in for a prolonged period of time it would be a very effective way of putting the humanitarian operation in its grave,” he said.

Children walking along the border with Egypt.

There are fears for the more than a million displaced Palestinians sheltering in Rafah if humanitarian aid remains cut off. Source: Getty / AFP

No exceptions for sick and injured patients

A World Health Organization spokesperson said in response to a journalist’s question that no exceptions were being made for sick and injured patients.
While some non-fuel supplies have entered Gaza via the northern Erez crossing in recent days, the UN agencies said this was insufficient and difficult to deliver to Rafah since it meant crossing active combat zones.
“Erez will simply not be enough,” said James Elder, a spokesperson for the United Nations children’s agency.

“If Rafah gate closes for an extended period, it’s hard to see how famine in Gaza can be averted,” he said.

If Rafah gate closes for an extended period, it’s hard to see how famine in Gaza can be averted.

UN spokesperson James Elder

The Israeli military said a limited operation in Rafah was meant to kill fighters and dismantle infrastructure used by Hamas, which governs the besieged Palestinian territory.

The World Food Programme said later on social media platform X that its stocks would only last between one and four days for the southern and central parts of Gaza.

Supplies running low

Even before the latest escalation in the seven-month-old conflict, the United Nations had repeatedly accused Israel of restricting aid access despite famine warnings. Faced with growing international pressure, Israel had pledged to improve access but says UN agencies are to blame for not distributing aid more efficiently within the enclave.

UN agencies said they had pre-stocked some aid within Rafah but said there were very low supplies of water and high-energy nutrition supplies needed to treat malnourished children.

Israel has bombarded Gaza since Hamas’ 7 October attack in which more than 1,100 people were killed and over 200 hostages taken, according to the Israeli government.
More than 34,700 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

The 7 October attack was a significant escalation in the long-standing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

Related Post

One thought on “The main route for aid to Gaza has been effectively ‘choked off’. Here’s what that means”
  1. The Israeli military taking control of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings has truly choked off the main arteries for aid into Gaza. With no exception even for sick and injured patients, this military operation is causing a humanitarian crisis for the displaced Palestinians sheltering in Rafah. If aid remains cut off, it could be a devastating blow to the already dire situation in the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *