Israel denying deliveries of medicine to north Gaza: UN

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the Israeli regime is denying access to aid missions delivering fuel and medicine to the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

In its daily update on Monday, OCHA reported that in the first two weeks of January, only 24 percent of planned aid missions to deliver food, medicine, water, and other lifesaving supplies have successfully reached their destinations north of Gaza.

“Around 95 percent of missions involving the allocation of fuel and medicines to water reservoirs, water wells, and health facilities in the north of Gaza have been denied access by Israeli authorities,” the report said.

“Lack of fuel for water, sanitation, and hygiene increases risks of health and environmental hazards,” it added, stressing that “lack of medicine has debilitated the functionality of the six partially functioning hospitals in the blockaded territory.”

OCHA also added that the aid missions that could not proceed include five planned missions to the Central Drug Store, four planned missions to Jabalia Medical Center, and eight planned missions to four critical reservoirs and water and waste pumps. 

The UN agency further stated that since the start of the war, humanitarian missions have reported two instances where Israeli forces were detaining convoy members, as well as two instances of attacks on convoys.

“Reluctance by the regime to open main supply routes and facilitate timely crossing through the Israeli military-controlled checkpoint has exposed humanitarian actors to security risks,” it said.

According to the OCHA restrictions applied by the Israeli regime on the import of critical humanitarian equipment have heavily compromised the capacity of humanitarian agencies to operate safely and effectively.

Several UN agencies have also appealed for “faster” and “safer” aid access to Gaza as the population faces famine and the spread of disease.

In a joint statement, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO) urged the opening of new entry routes, easing restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers and guaranteeing the safety of people accessing and distributing aid.

The Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings are the only lifelines for Gaza’s 2.3 million people, who have been deprived of food, water, medicine, and fuel due to the Israeli blockade.

The Israeli regime waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

Since the start of the aggression, Israel has killed more than 24,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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