‘Catastrophic Hunger’ – UNRWA Says Aid Interruption at Rafah Crossing Will Halt Humanitarian Response


Humanitarian aid trucks have been prevented from entering Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“The catastrophic hunger faced by people especially in northern Gaza will get much worse if these supply routes are interrupted.”

As the Israeli military seizes control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing in Gaza, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has warned that the interruption to the supply of aid at the crossing will affect the humanitarian response across the besieged enclave.

“Continued interruption of the entry of aid and fuel supplies at the Rafah crossing will halt the critical humanitarian response across the Gaza Strip,” UNRWA said on X on Tuesday.

“The catastrophic hunger faced by people especially in northern Gaza will get much worse if these supply routes are interrupted,” the organization added.

Ceasefire Deal

The spokesman of the Palestinian border crossing authority confirmed earlier that the border was closed from the Palestinian side, according to the Anadolu news agency.

Video footage shared by Israeli media outlets, including the Times of Israel, showed an Israeli tank at the Rafah crossing.

Following the announcement by Hamas of its acceptance of a Qatari-Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, Israel’s war cabinet decided to push ahead with an operation in Rafah.

The Israeli army issued immediate evacuation orders early on Monday for Palestinians in the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah and called on them to move to the town of al-Mawasi in southern Gaza.

‘A Lot of Fear’

Speaking from Rafah on Tuesday, UNRWA’s Communications Officer, Louise Wateridge, said “For us here in Rafah there’s just a lot of fear. Everywhere you look, there’s fear. Nobody has a clear path where to go. There is no advice on where to go. There is no safety to be led to.”

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“In each circumstance, in each family now, it’s a lot of panic and a lot of chaos… You can imagine as people start to move… people are beginning to take down the shelters and leave.”

UNRWA on Monday vowed it “is not evacuating” Rafah as news comes of Israel having issued an evacuation order for those residing in the eastern outskirts of the town.

“Together with our partners, we will stay & deliver critical assistance in Rafah as long as possible,” UNRWA Chief Philippe Lazzarini said on X.

Lazzarini warned that an Israeli military offensive “will lead to an additional layer of an already unbearable tragedy for the people in Gaza.”

He said the offensive would make it “even more difficult to reverse the expansion of the already man made famine.”

Roughly 1.5 million Palestinians have taken refuge in Rafah, having been displaced from other parts of the enclave ravaged by the Israeli genocidal assault on Gaza.

Over 34,700 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,789 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,204 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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