صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UN: Israeli Restrictions Hamper Humanitarian Efforts in Gaza


Fri 12 Apr 2024 | 10:38 AM
The fourth EZCH relief convoy enteres the Rafah land ‎crossing
The fourth EZCH relief convoy enteres the Rafah land ‎crossing
Ahmed Emam

The United Nations (UN) has reported that Israeli restrictions are making it difficult for humanitarian aid to reach north Gaza.

UN-coordinated food convoys are three times more likely to be denied access to north Gaza than other aid convoys.

Israeli authorities have not provided a clear reason for this, according to OCHA Spokesperson Jens Laerke, who spoke during a regular briefing by UN humanitarian agencies in Geneva. Laerke noted that the authorities often deny access without giving any explanation.

Last Thursday, during a widely reported telephone call between United States President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel committed to reopening the Erez border crossing into northern Gaza and facilitating aid delivery via the nearby port of Ashdod. However, no date has been set by Israel to act, and the concession over expanding routes into Gaza has yet to materialize, according to news reports.

Laerke was asked about the opening of more aid corridors, particularly the Erez crossing, but as of Monday night, OCHA had not received any information that it had opened.

OCHA issued a report this week stating that restrictions and denials of planned aid movements by Israeli authorities continue to hamper the delivery of life-saving assistance to the shattered enclave. During March, more than half of UN-coordinated food missions to high-risk areas requiring coordination with Israeli authorities were either denied or impeded.

Laerke was responding to journalists’ questions about the number of aid trucks entering Gaza and discrepancies between Israeli and UN figures.

“When we count the trucks on the other side when they have been reloaded…they are full. Already there, the numbers will never match up,” he continued.

He explained that counting day to day and comparing numbers “makes little sense” as it does not take into account delays at the crossing and in moving to warehouses.

Israeli-imposed restrictions also prohibit Egyptian drivers and trucks from being in the same area at the same time as Palestinian drivers and trucks, so handovers are not smooth.

Laerke affirmed that moving aid inside Gaza “is another complication”, referring to the impediments and access denials.

He said: “Food convoys that should be going particularly to the north, where 70 percent of people face famine conditions, are more likely, actually three times more likely, to be denied than any other humanitarian convoy with other kinds of material.”

The UN also mentioned that aid distribution inside Gaza “is a major issue” due to security and safety reasons, and the breakdown of law and order.

“But we also stress that the obligation on the warring parties – and, in particular, I would say on Israel as the occupying power of Gaza - to facilitate and ensure humanitarian access does not stop at the border,” he said.