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UNRWA said it continued to face “disproportionate restrictions” on access to Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Following reports of imminent famine, “40.5 per cent of all food missions have been denied in February and March.”

UNRWA, the largest humanitarian aid organization in Gaza, has said it continues to “face disproportionate restrictions” on access to the besieged enclave, with no food convoys approved to the north since January.

Following reports of imminent famine, “40.5 per cent of all food missions have been denied in February and March,” UNRWA said in its latest Situation Report, of April 4 – 7, 2024.

“UNRWA was last able to deliver food to the north at the end of January,” it said.

Last month, a total of 420 trucks food trucks “were denied or impeded” by Israeli authorities.

Gaza, the organization emphasized, is “on the brink of famine,” with 1.1 million people—half of its population—experiencing catastrophic food insecurity due to the intense conflict and severe restrictions on humanitarian access.

“Immediate action is imperative from Israeli authorities and all involved parties to ensure safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations. This is crucial to address the urgent needs of Gaza’s population.”

Since the beginning of April, “an average of 177 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza per day via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah land crossings,” the report stated.

“This remains well below the operational capacity of both border crossings and the target of 500 trucks per day.”

As of April 1, up to 1.7 million people (over 75 per cent of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, the majority multiple times, according to the report.

‘Red Lines Crossed’

UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarani, said in a statement on X on Sunday that “All lines – including the red lines” have been crossed in the war on Gaza.

“This war is made far worse through technologies mis-used by humans to harm other humans; en-mass. It is made worse by the famine born from an Israeli imposed siege, one would think it’s from a different era.”

He added: “As a result, a man-made famine is eating up bodies of babies and young children.”

The UNRWA chief decried the continued attacks against UNRWA, “with the aim to dismantle it & deny the refugee status to millions of Palestinians.”

“Amid political debates and failed diplomacy, between well-polished talking points and statements, the hellhole in Gaza is deepening by the day,” Lazzarini said. “This is now a race against time to restore our humanity.”

At least 15 children have died from malnutrition and dehydration at the Kamal Adwan Hospital, according to Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

Following unsubstantiated Israeli allegations that some of UNRWA’s employees were involved in the October 7 resistance operation, more than a dozen countries, including the US, suspended funding to the agency at the end of January.

Several countries, including France, Sweden, Canada, and Japan, have since announced their resumption of financial contributions to UNRWA in the past month.

Over 33,300 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, 33,360 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,993 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in the enclave.

Moreover, at least 7,000 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.

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’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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