UNICEF: Gaza children in ‘catastrophic situation’
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed concerns about the “catastrophic situation” of Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been under a genocidal Israeli bombing campaign for over three weeks.
UNICEF spokesperson Toby Fricker said the number of children killed in Gaza is catastrophic.
“The situation for children is horrific,” he said an interview with Al Jazeera TV channel on Sunday, calling for the protection of Gaza hospitals from relentless Israeli airstrikes, the establishment of safe humanitarian corridors, and the continuous and sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid to the people in the coastal enclave.
In another interview with France 24, Fricker said the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is “staggering”.
The Gaza children, he noted, are petrified about the situation that they are living through in the densely-populated territory.
4 Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire in Jenin
Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin early on Monday, according to a local medical source.
“The four lost their lives in clashes with Israeli occupation forces in Jenin,” the source told Anadolu, adding that nine others were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the city.
More than 100 Israeli military vehicles and two bulldozers pushed into Jenin early on Monday with a reconnaissance plane flying overhead, eyewitnesses said.
According to the medical source, Israeli bulldozers demolished the outer walls of Khalil Suleiman Hospital in the city.
Citing a local security source, state news agency Wafa reported an Israeli drone fired a missile into a house in the Jenin refugee camp, with a young Palestinian suffering shrapnel injuries.
Dozens killed as Gaza under nonstop Israeli bombing
Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes in the hours between Sunday night and Monday morning, as Israel has continued an intense aerial bombing campaign all across Gaza.
In the area of al-Saftawi in northern Gaza, at least 16 people have been killed by two Israeli air attacks on a house, killing some who were injured in the first strike and nearby residents who rushed in to try and rescue the victims.
Al Jazeera also reported that at least 10 people were killed by air strikes in central Gaza, and at least another seven were killed following a bombing in southern Gaza.
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“Fabric of society is starting to break down” in Gaza: UN agency
The “fabric of society” in Gaza is starting to break down, an official from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) told CNN — echoing warnings Sunday of a breakdown in civil order.
Thomas White, director of Affairs for Gaza for UNRWA, spoke about how people were looting logistic and aid warehouses in Gaza.
“We have been warning for a couple days now, that if essential public services and humanitarian aid would not be provided to the population in a sustained way we would see a breakdown in civil order. What we are seeing right now is the first stages of that, and that some of our logistic bases were looted by hundreds of young men. It’s a very worrying sign that the fabric of society is starting to break down,” White explained.
White added he was concerned for the people of Gaza but also for the UNRWA’s ability to maintain operations there.
He called for a humanitarian ceasefire, citing the urgent need “get the assistance that people need and stabilize society in Gaza.”
Doctors Without Borders transfers 26 tons of medical supplies to Egypt for Gaza
Médecins Sans Frontières — also known as Doctors Without Borders — has sent 26 tons of medical supplies on a World Health Organization plane to Egypt to support the emergency medical response in Gaza, it said in a statement on Sunday.
The supply transfer will be coordinated with the Egyptian Red Crescent. Doctors Without Borders said the medical supplies can cover the needs for 800 surgical interventions and are destined for healthcare facilities in Gaza in collaboration with local health authorities.
“We need this delivery to happen as soon as possible, as healthcare facilities in Gaza are overwhelmed with patients and are running very low on medical supplies, following more than three weeks of complete siege by the Israeli forces. We reiterate our call for an urgent ceasefire in Gaza to prevent more deaths and allow for the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid,” the statement added.
UN food program says aid warehouse break-ins show “growing hunger and desperation” in Gaza
The United Nations World Food Programme announced some of its aid supplies were looted in Gaza and warned of “growing hunger and desperation” in a news release Sunday.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said earlier Sunday that “thousands” of people had broken into some of its warehouses and distribution centers in the central and southern areas of the strip, “taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies.”
The food program added one of the warehouses was storing some of its food commodities, and supplies from humanitarian deliveries through Egypt.
“This is a sign of people losing hope and becoming more desperate by the minute. They are hungry, isolated, and have been suffering violence and immense distress for three weeks,” said Samer Abdeljaber, a World Food Programme official for the region.
“We need a humanitarian pause to be able to reach the people in need with food, water and basic necessities safely and effectively. Much more access is urgently needed, and the trickle of supplies needs to become a flow.”
The food program pointed to the “harrowing 24-hour communication blackout” and “persistent access challenges” that brought all of its operations to a halt as a result of Israel’s extensive airstrikes Saturday.
“WFP plans to provide food lifeline to over one million people who are going hungry now and needs a steady supply of food with at least 40 WFP trucks to cross daily into Gaza to be able to meet the escalating needs,” the statement read, adding, “So far emergency food and cash assistance has reached over 635,200 people in both Gaza and the West Bank.”
10 aid trucks pass from Egypt into Gaza through key border crossing
Ten aid trucks passed inspection procedures at the Rafah border crossing and were received by the Palestinian Red Crescent on the Gazan side on Sunday.
“Today we received 10 trucks from our brothers at the Egyptian Red Crescent through the Rafah crossing, containing food supplies and medical necessities. The total number of received trucks so far has reached 94, while fuel has not been allowed to enter yet,” the Palestinian Red Crescent announced.
A total of 40 trucks from Egypt’s National Alliance for Civil Development Work arrive on the Egyptian side of the crossing between Saturday and Sunday morning — most of which are waiting to undergo security checks before entering Gaza.
The Israeli military said Sunday it expects more aid trucks to begin entering Gaza soon.
The Rafah crossing is the only entry point to Gaza not controlled by Israel, which has implemented a “complete siege” on the Hamas-run enclave and the more than 2 million Palestinians living there.
Some aid trucks have been able to enter Gaza through Egypt since the crisis began, but the main United Nations agency working in Gaza has warned the limited shipments have done little to address humanitarian needs — and that more aid is desperately needed.
UN warns “civil order” starting to break down as Gazans break into warehouses to take basic survival items
The main United Nations agency in Gaza has warned civil order is breaking down, saying “thousands” of people have broken into some of its warehouses “taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies.”
One of the warehouses in the city of Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza, is where the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) stores supplies from humanitarian convoys coming from Egypt, the agency said in a statement.
“This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza. People are scared, frustrated and desperate,” stated Thomas White, director of UNRWA Affairs in the Gaza Strip.
“Tensions and fear are made worse by the cuts in the phones and internet communication lines. They feel that they are on their own, cut off from their families inside Gaza and the rest of the world,” White added.
The “massive” displacement of people from northern Gaza to the south “has placed enormous pressure on those communities, adding further burden on crumbling public services,” the agency said. Some families have received as many as 50 relatives who are taking shelter in one household, it said.
“Supplies on the market are running out while the humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip on trucks from Egypt is insufficient. The needs of the communities are immense, if only for basic survival, while the aid we receive is meagre and inconsistent,” White continued.
Just over 80 trucks of aid have crossed into Gaza in one week so far, and on Saturday there was no convoy due to the blackout in communications, the agency added.
“The current system of convoys is geared to fail. Very few trucks, slow processes, strict inspections, supplies that do not match the requirements of UNRWA and the other aid organizations, and mostly the ongoing ban on fuel, are all a recipe for a failed system,” White said.
We call for a regular and steady flow line of humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip to respond to the needs especially as tensions and frustrations grow,” he added.
Following the restoration of internet services, UNRWA teams in Gaza “will reassess the situation with the aim of resuming convoys and distribution of assistance,” the agency noted.