No significant change in humanitarian aid flow into Gaza: UN

Current flow of truckloads of aid 'remains well below operational target,' says UN spokesman Dujarric

10:20 - 2/04/2024 Tuesday
File photo
File photo

The UN on Monday warned of the insufficient flow of humanitarian aid trucks into Gaza, saying that there is no significant change in the number of trucks going in.

"For its part our colleagues in UNRWA said there has been no significant change in the volume of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza or improved access to the north," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said during a press briefing.

Noting that more than 150 trucks have crossed into Gaza per day in the month of March, Dujarric said: "This remains well below the operational target of 500 trucks per day."

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

Nearly 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which on Thursday asked Israel to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.

- UN concerned over Israeli airstrikes on Syria

Dujarric further expressed the UN's concerns over Israel's airstrikes on positions near the Syrian capital Damascus, injuring two civilians.

"We condemn all these attacks, but we're waiting to get facts on what happened today," he added.

Asked about reports of Israel submitting a proposal to the UN calling for the dismantling of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Dujarric said he has not seen any document regarding the mentioned reports.

"No such document was received by the Secretary General's office as of this morning," he said, adding that the UN's position on UNRWA "remains unchanged."

"UNRWA is the lifeline of hope, of services, for millions of Palestinians in the region, including in Gaza. It's currently the backbone, the spine, the arms and the legs for our humanitarian operation there," he said.

Following the unproven Israeli accusation that some UNRWA staffers were involved in the Oct. 7 attacks, many countries suspended payments to the aid agency in late January, pending an investigation.

Several countries, including Canada, Sweden, Finland, and France as well as the European Commission, however, as of the beginning of March, announced resuming funding to UNRWA.

UNRWA was established by the UN General Assembly more than 70 years ago to assist Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their land.

Asked about the Israeli Knesset's approval of legislation allowing the closure of Al Jazeera television, Dujarric said: "Any limitation on the right of journalists to operate anywhere in the world is of deep concern and we've seen from all over the world a negative trend in that in that regard."

Earlier, the Knesset passed second and third readings of a bill that would allow the closure of Al Jazeera.

The first reading of the bill was passed on Feb. 12.

Netanyahu met with coalition whip Ofir Katz and urged him to pass the bill on Monday, his Likud Party said in a statement.

Al Jazeera has an office in Israel and a team of correspondents working year-round, including covering Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, which has killed nearly 32,850 people since Oct. 7, 2023.

#aid trucks
#Al Jazeera
#Gaza Strip
#UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric
18 days ago