Skip to content

UN Says Israel Unlawfully Restricting Gaza Aid

  • NEWS, World
  • 3 min read

Israel is placing “unlawful restrictions” on humanitarian aid going into and being distributed in the Gaza Strip, the U.N. human rights office said Tuesday.

Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for U.N. High Commission for Human Rights Volker Türk, told reporters in Geneva that Israeli forces continue to “carry out widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza.”

“The high commissioner repeats that there must be an immediate cease-fire, the hostages must be released and full, unfettered humanitarian aid must be allowed to flow immediately,” Shamdasani said.

Israel has defended its military campaign in Gaza as targeting the Hamas militant group and has accused Hamas of operating in civilian areas.

Six months of fighting has left widespread devastation and forced the majority of Gaza’s population to seek shelter in the Rafah area near the Egyptian border.

“No area of the Gaza Strip has been spared from Israel’s bombardment. Nearly 1.7 million people remain forcibly displaced, living in appalling conditions and under constant threat,” Shamdasani said.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Monday the amount of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza has increased in recent days and that the United States wants to see that aid sustained.

About 100 trucks have entered the enclave in the last 24 hours, Kirby told MSNBC, bringing the total to 2,000 aid deliveries by truck since the conflict began.

For the first time in six months, a bakery in Gaza City has started operating with aid from the World Food Program, which provided desperately needed food parcels and wheat flour to a part of the enclave where a U.N.-backed report has warned of imminent famine.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden threatened to leverage U.S. support to Israel in its war against Hamas on the increase of humanitarian aid in Gaza and Israel’s concrete steps to protect aid workers and civilians there.

The move was prompted by an Israeli attack that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers.

Aid agencies have complained that Israel is not ensuring enough access for food, medicine and other needed humanitarian supplies into the devastated Palestinian enclave, where civilians face famine and widespread disease and are nearly all homeless.

Ground offensive

As Israel prepares to carry out its planned offensive in Rafah, the Israeli military said Tuesday it conducted airstrikes in central Gaza that targeting Hamas tunnels and military buildings.

Israel launched its offensive in response to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures. Militants also took about 250 people hostage. Israel says about 130 hostages remain in captivity, but one-quarter of them are dead.

The health ministry in Gaza said Tuesday that Israeli military actions killed at least 46 people in the past day, bringing the total since the war began to at least 33,843. The ministry says two-thirds of those killed are women and children.