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Here’s what the humanitarian aid crisis in Gaza looks like after eight months of war

Here’s what the humanitarian aid crisis in Gaza looks like after eight months of war



CNN

Raed Radwan shades his three-month-old child the heat It repels insects in a tent in Deir al-Balah. Central Gaza.

They are trapped, along with his wife and mother, in a sea of ​​displaced families with little respite from overcrowding and pollution. The Palestinian father told CNN he is struggling to get help. Instead, he and his family have no choice but to drink contaminated water and eat only one meal a day.

“I don’t want to talk about food because there is none,” he said in a letter written on June 5. “We have escaped death because of missiles and bombing; Will we die of starvation?

After eight months of Israeli bombing of Gaza – following the October 7 attacks led by the Hamas militant group that killed some 1,200 people and took 250 hostages in southern Israel – human rights groups described:indescribable“The living conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, with the displacement of more than 75% of the population, According to To the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The Israeli military campaign has crushed neighborhoods, destroyed health infrastructure, and depleted food, water and fuel supplies.

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The Israeli attack killed at least 36,654 Palestinians and injured 83,309 others, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. CNN cannot independently confirm these numbers.

While Israeli officials insisted that there was no limit to the amount of aid that could enter Gaza, the United Nations accused the authorities of imposing “Illegal restrictionsRegarding relief operations such as closure of land routes, communications outages and air strikes. Local staff told CNN they are having to turn away people in need at distribution points because there is not enough relief to distribute.

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Below is a breakdown of how the aid crisis in the region has worsened after 245 days of war.

Restrictions imposed by Israel on land routes into Gaza mean that aid barely flows into the Strip. But the crisis became more serious early last month, after Israeli forces launched an attack on the southern city of Rafah and took control of the Palestinian side of the land crossing into Egypt.

United Nations food agency He said Continuing attacks have blocked access to its main warehouse in Rafah since May 9, forcing it to suspend distribution there for nearly a month. The agency expressed concern for Palestinians in the south, where the closure of the main Rafah crossing has severely limited food supplies reaching the area, indicating serious food insecurity in northern Gaza following previous closures. Likewise, the US-based non-profit World Central Kitchen Temporarily paused Operations are at its main facility in Rafah and moved north last week.

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The US Army’s temporary sea lane was in the sector Friday repair. the operation A. was dealt with Big hit in May Just a few weeks into operations, when a $320 million temporary dock was damaged in stormy seas off the coast of Gaza, according to the Pentagon.

Since then, the total amount of aid entering Gaza has fallen by 67%, according to the United Nations, to a daily average of 58 trucks from May 7 to 28. For comparison, it was previously the United Nations mentioned That’s average 500 trucks entered the sector Daily in the months leading up to October 7.

“Everything that existed at the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings has now changed,” said Louise Waterridge, UNRWA Communications Officer. “When these crossings are interrupted, it is simply not enough to come from any other sources.”

Scenes emerged of large relief trucks piling up on the border with Gaza, after Israeli authorities intensified inspections of relief convoys entering the Strip, and doubled their claims that such aid could be used by Hamas.

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The Coordination Committee for Government Activities in the Territories, the Israeli agency that manages the flow of aid to Gaza, said On June 4th More than 1,000 trucks are waiting to be picked up by the United Nations on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing – accusing the UN of failing to coordinate the entry of vehicles into Gaza.

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Palestinians distribute food from the United Nations, in Wadi Gaza, central Gaza, on May 18. Aid workers say they can barely meet humanitarian demands on the ground.

But rights groups He says “Systematic obstruction at Israeli-controlled crossing points” and increasing fighting are paralyzing truck deliveries.

Waterridge told CNN that trucks stuck at the Kerem Shalom crossing cannot be received due to the intense military operations on the Gaza side of the crossing. “It is just a complete waste of vital humanitarian aid, and it is a man-made situation,” she added.

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These distribution challenges come with the United Nations Food Agency Warned in May The Palestinians in the north are suffering from “comprehensive famine” that extends south. More than one million people, or half of Gaza’s population, suffer from “He is expected to face death and starvation“By mid-July, another UN report warned this week, civilians struggle to find enough food amid scarce market supplies and rising prices.

More than 7,000 children under the age of five have already been diagnosed with malnutrition, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

With aid stocks rapidly declining, workers are barely able to meet demands on the ground, according to Mahmoud Shalabi, program director of the NGO Palestinian Medical Assistance.

For the few aid trucks entering the Strip, roads damaged by Israeli strikes and security concerns over ongoing hostilities are stifling attempts to reach displaced Palestinians, human rights workers told CNN.

Relief agencies have repeatedly called for New entry routes, more trucks to cross daily border checkpoints, reduced barriers to the movement of humanitarian workers and guarantees of their safety. Israeli attacks on aid convoys have drawn strong condemnation from human rights groups, drawing attention to growing Western interest. Doubt From Israel’s war in Gaza.

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Since October 7, Israeli forces have bombed known sites Aid workers in the enclave at least eight times, despite agencies providing their coordinates “to ensure their protection,” according to Human Rights Watch. According to the report, the attacks “reveal fundamental flaws in the so-called anti-collision system, which aims to protect relief workers.” CNN had previously asked the Israeli army to respond to the Human Rights Watch report.

Shalabi said: “The situation is really unsafe for us humanitarian workers. There are no safe corridors, and there is no coordination of movement.”

Ahmed Salem/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Smoke rises above buildings flattened by Israeli raids, in Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza, on June 5. Relief agencies told CNN that the bombing was disrupting vital relief operations in the Strip.

Shalabi says he, his wife and children have had to flee at least three times since October.

“I’m not sure what will happen next,” he added. “I hope I can return to my home and resume the life I had before my displacement.”