THE WORLD

Israel does not stop the attacks, the Palestinians are also hit by hunger

Aid in Gaza

Photo: Associated Press

The Israeli army has intensified airstrikes on Gaza, as part of its war against Hamas. During Saturday, he carried out two such attacks in the northern part of the city, killing at least 42 Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinian families in Gaza are facing yet another blow - thousands of trucks are waiting to pass through the border crossing, while Israel and the UN blame each other for the blockade.

At least 42 people were killed as a result of the double attacks that Israel undertook on Saturday in the north of Gaza City, confirmed the director of the media office in the Hamas-led Government, Ismail al-Thawabta. 

One of the attacks, he said, targeted houses in Al-Shati, which is one of the eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, leaving 24 dead. Another attack that killed 18 Palestinians was carried out on houses in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that the organization's offices in Gaza were damaged due to the bombings, adding that 22 people sheltered in nearby camps were killed.
"Heavy caliber shells fell a few meters away from the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday afternoon (local time). The attack has damaged the structure of the Red Cross office, which is surrounded by hundreds of homeless civilians living in tents, including many Palestinian colleagues," the International Committee of the Red Cross announced.

According to the organization, this is just one of several such Israeli attacks that have occurred in recent days. 

And the Israeli army announced that military planes targeted two targets of the Palestinian group Hamas.

Amid the air and ground attacks from Israel, another battle is taking place on the ground. Thousands of Palestinian families are going hungry, while only a few kilometers away from them are the aid on food pallets. 

Although Israel's military has said it is monitoring the "aid delivery process" at the Kerem Shalom crossing, humanitarian agencies have said refugees are still struggling to receive vital aid in southern Gaza. They blamed that moving and receiving goods has become a dangerous process.

"Looting has become quite common," said Georgios Petropoulos, who heads the Office of the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Gaza. He estimated that last Tuesday, three quarters of the goods in the trucks entering from the crossing were stolen.

UN officials have said vehicles are systematically attacked and stopped by armed gangs, particularly those smuggling cigarettes, which are sold on the black market in Gaza for huge sums. Trucks bringing fuel into Gaza have also been targeted recently.
In Gaza, the representatives of Hamas have left and it is currently estimated that there is no plan on how to fill the power vacuum. There are few police officers left operating in the Palestinian territory. It is not clear whether the organized crime cartels are linked to the Hamas or Gaza clans.

"Now meaningful decisions must be made about what we will do about civil order in Gaza and who will take care of providing it," said Petropoulos.

The Israeli military body responsible for operating the crossings, Cogat, told reporters that it had not set any limits on the amount of aid that could go to Gaza. There are about 1000 aid trucks in Kerem Shalom, undergoing security checks and awaiting collection by Gaza. 

"This is mainly due to the fact that international organizations have not taken sufficient steps to improve their distribution capacity", said the spokesperson of "Cogat", Shimon Freedman.

He has accused the UN - which is Gaza's main aid supplier - of not having enough trucks, as well as the need to increase manpower, extend working hours, increase vigilance and take other steps. logistics and organization. 

During the war, Israel has increased its criticism of aid agencies, after the International Court of Justice twice issued interim measures, ordering it to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza. These came as a result of the South African case alleging that Israel was violating the 1948 Genocide Convention, a charge it vehemently denies.

The UN and aid groups have rejected claims that they are understaffed or inefficient, pointing to the difficulties of operating in an active war zone. According to them, the Israeli bombings have damaged the infrastructure and reduced the operational capacity.

"We have recruited many new staff and hundreds of volunteers to distribute aid. We have provided 28 million people and six million medical treatments. That's how we can pool the workforce together, said Sean Carroll, president of American Refugee Assistance in the Near East (Anera).

However, he said the new workers don't help when the war makes getting goods too dangerous, or the roads are impassable.

"Anera" has estimated that the ongoing problem of granting aid remains the arbitrariness of the rules, which are constantly changing when it comes to freer movement of goods.

Aid groups have said Gaza's overstretched aid system broke down in May when Israel began its military ground invasion of the crowded southern city of Rafah, saying it was targeting the remaining battalions of Hamas fighters there.

An estimated one million Palestinians, most of them already displaced by the fighting, were forced to flee, deepening the humanitarian crisis. At the same time, aid organizations lost access to important storage and distribution centers.

Israel launched a military operation to destroy Hamas in response to an attack the group carried out in southern Israel on October 7, during which around 1 people, mostly civilians, were killed and 200 others were taken hostage.

Since then, more than 37 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-led government.