Get Informed, Stay Inspired

As a potential ceasefire in Gaza approaches, the United Nations relief teams are prepared to increase their assistance efforts.
Middle East World News

As a potential ceasefire in Gaza approaches, the United Nations relief teams are prepared to increase their assistance efforts.

Media sources have stated that discussions are currently taking place regarding the Israel-Hamas deal for a four-day break in fighting and the release of hostages held by the Palestinian armed group since their terror attacks on October 7. It is being reported that the deal is not expected to go into effect before Friday.

WFP leader Cindy McCain stated that the organization is working quickly to increase aid in Gaza once safe access is allowed, as hunger levels continue to rise. This was in response to remarks by UN relief chief Martin Griffiths, who expressed the organization’s preparedness to bring and distribute more aid in the area.

Ms. McCain stated that trucks from the WFP are currently positioned at the Rafah crossing, carrying food intended for families residing in shelters and homes throughout Gaza, as well as wheat flour to enable bakeries to resume their operations.

According to recent UN reports, wheat flour is currently unavailable in northern Gaza markets and there are no operational bakeries due to fuel, water, flour, and structural shortages.

Wishes for a saving grace

Since the reopening of the Rafah crossing with Egypt on October 21st, only 73 truckloads of WFP food aid have been delivered to Gaza, which is significantly less than what is needed.

Ms. McCain voiced optimism for an increase in fuel access to the enclave, allowing our trucks to transport necessary supplies and ensuring that bread will once again be a crucial lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis.

Around 75,000 liters of fuel were transported into Gaza from Egypt on Wednesday after Israel made a decision last week to permit the “daily arrival of limited amounts of fuel for necessary humanitarian activities,” reported the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, is currently distributing fuel to aid in food distribution and the functioning of generators at hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, shelters, and other essential services in the southern area of the Strip. This is necessary due to the Israeli military operations that have blocked access to the northern region.

Last week, Martin Griffiths, the head of OCHA and the UN’s chief of emergency relief, stated that a daily requirement of 200,000 litres of fuel was necessary.

Hospital evacuation update

On Wednesday, a group of 190 injured and ill individuals, along with their companions and medical staff, were successfully evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that the development was a collaborative endeavor between UN organizations and humanitarian allies, headed by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The individuals who had to be evacuated were taken to the southern area in a convoy of ambulances.

OCHA reported that the PRCS stated the evacuation lasted approximately 20 hours due to delays and inspections at the checkpoint between northern and southern Gaza. It was also noted that this put the lives of patients at risk.

Patients undergoing dialysis were relocated to Abu Youssef An Najjar Hospital in Rafah, Gaza, while those not requiring dialysis were taken to the European hospital in Khan Younis within the Strip. According to OCHA, approximately 250 patients and staff are currently at Al-Shifa, which is currently not functioning.

On Wednesday, there was a decrease in the amount of people who were forced to relocate from northern Gaza to the south via the “corridor” established by the Israeli Defense Forces on the main road, Salah Ad Deen Road.

As per OCHA’s observation, only around 250 individuals relocated to the south. The UN Office noted that this decrease can mostly be attributed to the anticipation of the humanitarian pause, which has yet to be put into effect.

As of now, more than 1.7 million individuals in Gaza have been displaced within their own country.

Life inside Gaza

Recently, a member of UNRWA’s staff who left Gaza this week shared their experience of living and working during the ongoing conflict with UN News.

Maha Hijazi, the Warehousing and Distribution Officer for UNRWA, had the task of obtaining food for the large number of displaced individuals (IDPs) currently seeking refuge in their facilities.

“Our initial strategy was to accommodate 150,000 Palestinian IDPs in UNRWA shelters, but the current number has risen to approximately one million,” she stated.

The United Nations and its allies are still requesting for greater access to provide aid to the Gaza Strip, as the region is still experiencing severe scarcities of essential resources such as food, water, fuel, and medicine.

Shelters are at maximum capacity while markets remain deserted.

The majority of UNRWA employees are Palestinian refugees and a few have taken shelter in its facilities while still performing their life-saving duties. Over 100 of their coworkers have lost their lives so far.

Even though Ms. Hijazi’s family was not residing in a shelter, she explained that her parents struggled to find food in the markets.

“We visited the markets, but they were devoid of goods. We were unable to find anything to buy despite having money.”

A mother’s decision

On Monday, Ms. Hijazi and her family departed from Gaza to Egypt. She was upset and hesitant about leaving her home, apartment, and job behind.

She stated that neither her children nor any of the Palestinian children feel safe, secure, or protected. They hear bombing constantly throughout the day and night.

Ms. Hijazi remembered that her children used to ask her before bedtime if they would meet the same fate as their neighbors and family members.

She explained that she embraced them and assured them that if they were to perish, it would be together so they wouldn’t feel any pain. She also reassured them that if they heard the bombings, they were in a secure location. The rocket that would cause harm would not make any noise.

Although it was difficult for Ms. Hijazi to leave Gaza and go to Egypt, she believed it was the right choice for her children, who hold citizenship in both countries.

She expressed the importance of allowing them the opportunity to rest and experience a sense of belonging among their peers.

During the entire trip, my children and I were in tears as we did not want to depart from our homeland, Gaza. However, we were compelled to do so in order to ensure our safety and security.

The source for this information is the United Nations news website.