Israel's aid blockade creates 'apocalyptic' conditions in Gaza | Israel's war against Gaza News

Israel has created “famine-like conditions” in the Gaza Strip “while obstructing and undermining the humanitarian response,” according to a new report from humanitarian group Refugees International.

The group's investigation in Egypt, Jordan and Israel revealed that Tel Aviv “consistently and baselessly impeded aid operations within Gaza, blocked legitimate aid operations, and resisted implementing measures that would actually improve the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

The report was based on interviews with dozens of government officials, aid workers and NGO staff involved in relief efforts on the ground in the three countries.

“Our investigation makes clear that conditions inside Gaza are apocalyptic,” says the report released Thursday.

“After five months of war, Palestinians are struggling to find adequate food, water, shelter and basic medicine. “Famine-level hunger is already widespread and getting worse.”

Non-compliance with ICJ ruling

Refugees International also said Israel was “evidently failing” to comply with legally binding interim measures ordered on January 26 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to facilitate the flow of aid and reduce humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

In its defense before the ICJ, Israel argued that it has actively removed obstacles and improved the entry and distribution of aid into Gaza.

The report revealed that Israeli authorities have “erected unnecessary obstacles, complicated logistical processes and an unpredictable vetting system, making the inspection regime overwhelmingly onerous with layers of bureaucracy and inspection and limited work hours.”

While Israel claimed it had expanded its aid delivery capacity to Gaza, the average number of trucks delivered in February actually fell 50 percent compared to the previous month, according to United Nations data cited in the report.

Critical crossings such as northern Erez and Al-Muntar – known as Karni to Israelis – remain closed, preventing access to northern Gaza.

The report says Israel failed to comply with the terms of a National Security Memorandum (NSM-20) issued in February by US President Joe Biden's administration that requires countries receiving US security assistance to actively facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. in Gaza.

Logistical problems

Refugees International found that logistical problems within Egypt and Jordan are limiting the distribution of life-saving assistance to people in Gaza.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, intended primarily for commercial deliveries, lacks the capacity to process the significant amount of aid the Strip needs. Egyptian authorities have also tried to deter a large-scale humanitarian response in North Sinai, a military zone.

The report found that Egypt responded to pressure from Israel to open its borders to Palestinian refugees by intensifying its supervision and regulation of access to the border area for aid agencies, as well as its monitoring of the entry and exit of people to and from Loop.

Charities delivering aid to Gaza from Amman, Jordan's capital, told Refugees International that Israeli officials put up “difficult obstacles” that did not exist before and have yet to provide clear standard operating procedures to Jordanian authorities.

New barriers, such as new inspection requirements, are also paralyzing aid at the Allenby Bridge crossing into Israel and at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossing.

Calls for a ceasefire

The report calls on the warring parties in Gaza to “immediately agree to a mutual ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” as well as to “adhere to international humanitarian law and refrain from any action that threatens the rights, security and the dignity of both Palestinians and Palestinians.” Israeli civilians.”

The United States, Qatar and Egypt have spent weeks trying to negotiate a deal in which Hamas would free Israeli captives in exchange for a six-week ceasefire, the release of some Palestinian prisoners and more aid to Gaza.

But three days of negotiations with Hamas this week over a ceasefire in Gaza failed to make any progress, less than a week before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the informal deadline to reach a deal.

Refugees International also called for an end to attacks on civilians and infrastructure and for the UN and aid agencies to be allowed access to populations in need.

Among other recommendations, he said Israel should refrain from “a military offensive in Rafah and other actions that could further displace Palestinians or worsen the humanitarian crisis.”

The Israeli military has been preparing for a long-threatened ground invasion of the southern Gaza border town of Rafah, where more than half of the enclave's 2.3 million residents have been displaced by the force.

At least 30,800 Palestinians have been killed and 72,198 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from the Hamas attacks on October 7 stands at 1,139.

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