Aid Groups Warns of Increasing Challenges to Gaza Relief Efforts

Fri May 17 2024
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TEL AVIV: Humanitarian workers in Gaza are facing mounting challenges in delivering aid to civilians amidst ongoing conflict, with concerns rising those operations may be forced to cease.

“There are enormous needs” which are bound to grow, while there is “less and less access”, said the head of a European charity, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Aid organizations highlight the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the UN has warned of looming famine, has significantly deteriorated since Israeli forces launched a military operation in eastern Rafah last week.

After entering into eastern Rafah on May 7, Israeli forces seized control of the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, a vital aid lifeline that is now closed. This move triggered a mass exodus of Palestinians seeking safety in northern Gaza.

The ongoing conflict, now in its eighth month, has further restricted access to affected areas and severely limited aid crossings.

A worker from the Paris-based NGO Humanity & Inclusion operating in the Palestinian territories expressed concerns: “We’re unable to deploy our teams due to unstable security conditions.”

Earlier today, Thirteen Western countries, traditionally supportive of Israel, jointly appealed on Friday to Israel to refrain from launching a large-scale offensive on Rafah.

“We reiterate our opposition to a full-scale military operation in Rafah that would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population,” read the appeal, sent by the countries’ foreign ministers to their Israeli counterpart Israel Katz and made public.

At least 35,303 Palestinians, mostly women and men, were martyred in Gaza in the seven months of war between Israel and Hamas that broke out on October 7, the health ministry reported.

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