In a distressing development, UN aid deliveries to Gaza were halted once again on Friday due to severe shortages of fuel and a communication shutdown, exacerbating the suffering of thousands of hungry and homeless Palestinians. The pause in aid comes as Israeli troops continue their battle against Hamas militants in the enclave.
The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) issued a grave warning, stating that civilians in Gaza are now facing the “immediate possibility of starvation” due to the scarcity of food supplies. The situation has become even more dire as the conflict enters its seventh week, with no sign of a ceasefire or humanitarian pauses despite international calls.
Reports from Palestinian news agency WAFA indicate that a strike near the Rafah border crossing, a key transit point for aid, resulted in casualties among displaced individuals. Al Jazeera reported that nine people were killed in this incident, and at least 18 Palestinians lost their lives in another strike on a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp. However, there has been no official comment from Israel on these reported incidents, and Reuters has not been able to independently verify the information.
Discovery of a tunnel shaft
Israel’s military continues its assault on northern Gaza, claiming control of an Islamic Jihad commander’s stronghold and eliminating Hamas fighters inside a school where a significant cache of weapons was discovered. Additionally, Israel reported the discovery of a tunnel shaft used by Hamas at Al Shifa hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip, intensifying concerns about the safety of medical facilities in the conflict zone.
Fuel shortages and a communication breakdown have further hampered relief efforts, with the UN announcing the suspension of cross-border aid operations on Friday. For two consecutive days, aid trucks were unable to enter Gaza due to a lack of fuel for distribution, compounding the humanitarian crisis. WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain emphasized the desperate need for food assistance, noting that supplies of food and water in Gaza are nearly non-existent.
As the conflict persists, with over 11,500 Palestinians, including thousands of children, killed in Israel’s military assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza, the international community faces a critical challenge in addressing the catastrophic humanitarian situation. The dire conditions, widespread displacement, and flattened neighborhoods underscore the urgent need for a resolution to the conflict and increased efforts to provide essential aid to those in need.