Palestinians in Gaza wait to fill containers after Israel stopped the transfer of fuel and cooking gas into the enclave in July ( Reuters )
Bel Trew Jerusalem
The UN’s top official has called on Israel to urgently allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies into Gaza, and called on all parties not hold aid supplies “hostage to political and security developments”.
Rosemary DiCarlo, the United Nations political chief, revealed the woeful humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave to the organisation’s security council this week, warning fuel and medical supplies were running “dangerously” low. Ms DiCarlo said funding for the UN’s emergency fuel support programme in Gaza had run out, a situation which could see hundreds of key facilities, including hospitals and water plants, close.
Gaza is already suffering under a decade long blockade imposed by Israel after the Hamas militant group violently swept to power in the Palestinian territory in 2007. This summer the humanitarian situation reached crisis point amid a flare-up in violence between the two sides which “threatened to plunge Gaza into war”, Ms DiCarlo said.
“The humanitarian situation in Gaza had also deteriorated further, due in part to additional restrictions that Israel imposed on the movement of goods,” Ms DiCarlo said.
“As we work towards the full lifting of the closing [of] Gaza … I call on all parties to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the strip. These should not be held hostage to political and security developments,” she added.
The top official also appealed to the UN security council for $4.5 million [£3.5 million] to urgently plug a funding shortfall needed for fuel support.