#ISRAELHAMASWAR. Humanitarian aid in Gaza: another instrument of war

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The issue of humanitarian aid in Gaza is a matter of life and death. It’s known by now. The Hague Tribunal issued an order on March 28 demanding that humanitarian aid be delivered to Gaza without restriction or interruption: “It is not that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are in danger of starvation, but that this famine situation is already begun.”

Hamas leader Talal Nassar accuses Egypt: “it is responsible for the siege and starvation of the population of Gaza”.

The way the aid is delivered also complicates the situation. Israel directly controls the land routes and air deliveries are not always successful, on the contrary: 18 Palestinians died during air deliveries, of which 12 drowned and 6 due to a hasty escape from falling packages.

“We have warned all countries carrying out aid drops of the danger of incorrect procedures, because part of this aid is thrown into the sea, part is thrown into Israeli territories and part is thrown into dangerous areas, which exposes the lives of starving citizens to a extreme danger, and here it is the same thing: the scenario repeats itself,” continues Nassar.

We call for an end to aid disembarkation operations in this offensive, wrong, inappropriate and unnecessary manner, and we call for land crossings to be opened immediately and quickly to bring humanitarian aid to our Palestinian people who are starving and suffering from severe food shortages. food for the sixth consecutive month,” concludes Nassar.

Israel published a document on the subject on March 29: “An IPC report was recently published that presents a picture of famine in the Gaza Strip. According to COGAT’s assessment, the report does not reflect the entire situation in the Gaza Strip regarding food security and food availability. The report contains multiple factual and methodological flaws, some of which are serious.”

According to the report, it is important to underline that Israel cannot and does not manage food distribution within the Strip. As for the situation on the ground, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations operating in the area are so far unable to manage the capacity of supplies that are brought in every day on trucks and to distribute them to the population throughout the Strip. Gaza efficiently and on an ongoing basis. The fact is that at any moment hundreds of trucks are stuck on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing after being fully processed by the Israeli authorities, waiting to be received and distributed by humanitarian agencies.”

In the last two months, when it has been noted that accessibility to food in the north of the country is becoming increasingly difficult. Israel coordinated the entry of hundreds of trucks into the northern part of the Strip – over 500 trucks – without taking into account the food dropped into the northern Gaza Strip by various countries in coordination with Israel, as well as the entry of the WCK ship. The number of trucks per capita in the north has exceeded the number of trucks deployed in the south.

There are reports and testimonies of theft, looting and commandeering of aid trucks by armed actors, some of them Hamas, some directed by Hamas, who seize humanitarian aid and withhold it for their own interests, in a way that the quantity of food reaching the civilian population decreases. Furthermore, Hamas uses its control over aid to strengthen its rule in the Gaza Strip. This phenomenon also compromises the continuous work of humanitarian agencies.

The document also states: “To assist the civilian population of Gaza, Israel is facilitating various humanitarian aid initiatives. These include: the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip subject to Israeli security controls, the supply of water directly from Israel, the facilitation of the establishment of field hospitals in Gaza, assistance in the evacuation of patients for medical treatment outside Gaza and more. So far, nearly 19,000 humanitarian trucks have entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, carrying more than 350,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including nearly 250,000 tons of food.” “Israel facilitates the entry of aid into all populated areas and is working with humanitarian organizations to improve the processes.”

Israel openly rejects any accusation that it is deliberately starving Gaza’s civilian population. In recent months, between 150 and 200 trucks have been admitted per day, most of which are food trucks. This is an 80% spike compared to the daily average of food trucks that entered Gaza before October 7.

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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