UN: Israel prevented access to Rafah crossing

Gaza Strip

The UN humanitarian aid agency said that Israeli authorities have denied it access to the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt that is now in the control of the Israeli Defence Forces.

“Rafah is in the crosshairs,” said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at a regular briefing in Geneva.

“IDF is ignoring all warnings about what this could mean for civilians and for the humanitarian operation across the Gaza Strip,” he added.

“I think it’s fair to say that the reports that we get from colleagues on the ground is that panic and despair has taken hold: People are terrified.”

He said 76% of the territory of Gaza is “under evacuation orders” and people in Rafah have not been given adequate time to abide by evacuation orders.

Mr Laerke said the operations of the UN and its partners in Gaza have a “very, very short buffer of about one day of fuel”, primarily diesel to run lorries and generators.

“It’s not like there are huge warehouses full of aid” in Gaza because as a general rule it is distributed upon entry, he said.


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