UN urges ease of access for humanitarian missions into war-ridden Gaza

WASHINGTON DC — A United Nations (UN) official has voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and called on the Israeli occupation authorities to allow aid delivery.

“Humanitarian operations in Gaza must be fully facilitated and all impediments must be lifted,” deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters, as reported by the Palestine News and Info Agency (WAFA).

Haq stressed that access constraints continue to “severely undermine” the delivery of humanitarian assistance and services across Gaza.

He added that between June 1-18, out of the 61 coordinated humanitarian assistance missions to northern Gaza, 28 were facilitated by Israeli authorities, eight were denied access, 16 were impeded, and nine were cancelled due to logistical, operational or security reasons.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people in southern Gaza suffer from poor access to shelter, health, food, water and sanitation, he stressed.

“From 7 to 14 June, OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) led humanitarian assessments in four displacement sites in the south of Gaza; Deir al Balah, two in Khan Younis and two in Al Mawasi area of Rafah,” Haq said, adding that access to water is ‘critically’ low, and people have to queue for long hours to collect it and are forced to rely on sea water for domestic use.

“Many households report having only one meal every day, with some having one meal every two or three days, relying mostly on bread, food sharing with other families, and rationing stocks,” he added.

More than 37,350 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October, most of them women and children, and over 85,400 others injured, according to local health authorities. — BERNAMA-WAFA