Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – New York Times

A deadly Israeli attack on an aid convoy operated by World Central Kitchen in the Gaza Strip has already set back attempts to address the region’s hunger crisis, prompting aid groups to be more cautious about deliveries. , says at least two operations have been suspended.

Following the attack that killed seven employees, World Central Kitchen halted operations in Gaza and sent three ships carrying hundreds of tons of food back to a port in Cyprus. The food was scheduled to be landed at a temporary pier built by the group in northern Gaza. The organization says it has provided 43 million meals to Gazans since the start of the war.

Gaza is facing a humanitarian crisis, with war and Israeli aid restrictions leading to severe famine, with UN officials saying experts are approaching starvation. The worst shortage is in northern Gaza, where aid groups say the killing of aid workers will further worsen the situation there, at least in the short term.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday that “humanitarian aid organizations cannot safely operate.”

Another aid organization, American Assistance for Near East Refugees (Anera), also announced that it has been working in the Palestinian territories for more than 55 years. pause work In Gaza. The United Nations suspended night movement for at least 48 hours starting Tuesday to assess safety, the organization’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, according to Reuters.

The United Nations’ World Food Program remains active during the day, he said. “As famine approaches, we need humanitarian staff and supplies to move freely and safely through the Gaza Strip,” Reuters reported him saying on Wednesday.

The first ship “Open Arms” was dispatched to Gaza by the World Central Kitchen in Larnaca, Cyprus, on…Petros Karagias/Related Press

The World Food Program and UNRWA, the UN’s main agency supporting the Palestinians, have long said they face unacceptable hurdles to delivering aid, including delivery restrictions by Israel and lawlessness in northern Gaza. .

“Our staff guides us in our work, but they also feel like they have a target on their backs,” said Sandra, Anera country director for Gaza and the West Bank.・Rashid told NDMT Network.

Michael Capponi, founder of the nonprofit aid group Global Empowerment Mission, said he was reconsidering plans to go to Gaza next week. Some staff members “basically want to pack up and go home right now,” he said.

The Gaza Strip has faced an Egyptian-backed Israeli blockade for more than a decade, but residents say the amount of food available has decreased dramatically since the war began in October.

“We are not given any aid or anything,” Lawan al-Khudaly, who lives in northern Gaza, said in an interview. She said in an interview that her baby, Anwar, died several weeks ago, partly due to malnutrition. Another resident of northern Gaza, Ezzeldin al-Dari, 22, said her family received only one bag of flour in aid, which she said lasted several days.

In recent weeks, the United States, other countries and aid groups have increased pressure on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, a territory of more than 2 million people. Israel, which announced the siege of Gaza at the start of the war, has not placed limits on the amount of aid it sends to the region, but says it wants to avoid food and other supplies falling into the hands of Hamas.

Countries such as the United States, France, Jordan, and Egypt have increased their use of airdrops to deliver aid to Gaza, and World Central Kitchen ships have been deployed to create multiple maritime routes to deliver aid from Cyprus. It was part of a citizenship plan. As part of efforts to increase maritime traffic, the U.S. military is building a temporary pier on the Gaza coast, a process that will take several weeks.

A view from inside a C-130 military plane as the Jordanian Air Force dropped supplies into northern Gaza last…Diego Ibarra Sánchez writes for the New York Times

The United Nations says trucking is the only effective way to fully scale up aid.

The number of aid trucks entering Gaza through two major crossing points in the southern part of the enclave, Kerem Shalom and Rafah, increased by nearly 75 percent in March compared to February, according to UN figures.

But overall, an average of about 117 aid trucks have entered Gaza every day since Oct. 7, about 75% fewer than pre-war numbers, U.N. data shows. The World Food Program estimates that: 300 trucks loaded with food It is needed every day to meet people’s basic food needs.

Jan Egeland, executive director of the Norwegian Refugee Council and former UN emergency relief coordinator, said despite the short-term difficulties, the strike could galvanize the push for a ceasefire.

He also called on the government to step up efforts to protect aid workers and create more entry points for aid, including in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than a million people have gathered in preparation for a planned Israeli invasion. He said this could encourage people to speak out more strongly. escape from battle.

Aid workers are part of a growing death toll from Israeli shelling, with 203 people killed since the war began, most of them Palestinians. Aid worker security database.

“The international aid workers are getting more attention than the 200 Palestinian aid workers who have been killed so far, which is of course tragic,” Egeland said. “But this could be the watershed we were hoping for.”

Hiba Yazbek Contributed to the report.

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