June 21, 2024

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Aid warehouses looted by thousands of ‘desperate’ Gazans

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Thousands of Palestinians broke into Gaza’s aid warehouses over the weekend, as a UN official warned that the current system for bringing humanitarian relief into the besieged territory was inadequate and “set up to fail”.

The looting of several UN storehouses, across central and southern Gaza, underlines the increasingly desperate conditions on the ground since Israel cut off the supply of electricity, fuel and all other goods to the 2.3mn in the enclave.

UNRWA, the biggest UN agency operating in Gaza, said on Sunday that flour and “basic survival items” such as hygiene supplies were taken in the incidents.

“This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza,” said Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza. “People are scared, frustrated and desperate.” He added that the limited arrangements to resupply the enclave with humanitarian goods were inadequate by design.

Israel has bombarded the densely populated Gaza strip for three weeks since a Hamas-led attack on October 7, which the government said killed at least 1,400 Israelis.

Since the retaliatory strikes began, the death toll in Gaza has reached 8,005, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry. The figure surpasses the total number of Gazans killed in all four previous wars between Israel and Hamas.

Israel denies there are shortages of food in Gaza and says it is planning to “dramatically increase” the amount of humanitarian assistance allowed into Gaza from Egypt in the coming week.

But so far only a trickle of humanitarian supplies have been allowed to enter from Egypt, and international officials say it is a tiny fraction of the quantities needed for the aid-dependent enclave.

UNRWA also said the massive displacement of people in Gaza has added “further burdens on crumbling public…

2023-10-29 13:33:06

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