At the beginning of the Israeli “retaliation” on the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government would cut Gaza’s electricity, water, and food. Finally, today. after two weeks without delivery of vital supplies, a 20-truck convoy entered Gaza to deliver aid to the people. This came following “days of deep and intense negotiations with all relevant sides to make sure that aid operation into Gaza resumes as quickly as possible” and with the right conditions.”
However, this is only a small amount of aid for Gaza which has taken delivery of 500 trucks of aid a day for the past 17 years, an amount that is still insufficient to meet their needs, and any surplus will have been depleted.
The Rafah Crossing
The order to cut electricity, water, and food given by Netanyahu was actioned by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant who also issued orders to close the Rafah Crossing which would stop the passage of people and all commercial materials heading to Gaza to return; otherwise, they would have been bombed. The Rafah Crossing was subsequently bombed and Israeli attacks continued.
Vital supplies meant for the innocent civilians in Gaza who have become increasingly desperate have sat on the wrong side of the Rafah Crossing for two weeks resulting in innocent civilians, half of whom are children suffering and in a desperate, worsening situation. It should never have taken a few days of “intense negotiations” before giving permission to allow them supplies.
Especially as it has been known that basic resources have been running low for days, and medical equipment and medicines in hospitals have been exhausted due to the increased number of war casualties, making reopening the Rafah Crossing more urgent.(Source)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
over a week ago: the UNRWA said that one million people had been forced to leave their homes, half of them at that time were in UNRWA facilities” and sent out an appeal:
“UNWRA urgently seeks US$104m for its humanitarian response over the coming 90 days. Funds are needed to respond to the immediate food, non-food, health, shelter and protection needs of up to 250,000 persons seeking safety in UNRWA shelters in Gaza and another 250,000 Palestine refugees within the community“
UNRWA) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949, with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestinian refugees in the Agency’s area of operation pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. They operate in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria resulting from the tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflicts and who continue to be displaced and in need of support 75 years on.
The agency which is entirely funded by voluntary contributions made another appeal in response to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip just five days ago and the UNRWA Director of Communications Juliette Touma appealed for urgent supplies, and told CNN News:
“We’ve got to get in those supplies and we’ve got to get them in urgently, into the Gaza strip, we need fuel, we need wheat flour, we need other basic supplies because UNWRA has not been able to deliver anything in the past week plus so we need to get those supplies in as soon as possible”
UNRWA 20th October Report
Still, the opening of the Rafah Crossing was denied, despite the suffering and worsening situation and yesterday, the UNRWA reported: that food, water, critical medicines, and health supplies were running out in Gaza. Additionally, out of 35 hospitals there, four are not functioning due to severe damage and targeting, and only eight of the 22 UNRWA primary healthcare centres are now partially functional (source).
Also, there is now, only 195 health staff which is 21 percent of the total health staff present at the health centres and stocks of medicines are very depleted, with around 15 days’ supply remaining overall and one week’s supply of insulin. Some items may run out sooner based on needs at shelters. Fuel stocks in the functional health centres are also depleted, hampering the provision of primary health care in UNRWA’s health centres (source)
This treatment of innocent civilians is collective punishment and has continued for two weeks without opposition from many of the leaders from the West, including human rights lawyers, Prime Ministers, and Presidents. We have seen how these so-called leaders would prefer to embarrass themselves before they would condemn the orders of Netanyahu and Gallant that dehumanised innocent civilians.
Instead, they have condoned the collective punishment and used the line “Israel has a right to defend itself” in an attempt to avoid admitting to turning a blind eye to the atrocities that are in fact war crimes, and violations of International Law.
The EU Commission
Ursula Von Der Leyen is one of those leaders and has repeated the scripted line “Israel has a right to defend itself” like a broken record, yet was once fully aware of the fact that “attacks against civilian infrastructure, especially electricity, are war crimes.” It depends on who is committing those crimes it seems according to the President of the EU Commission and her publicly displayed hypocrisy.
Janez Lenarčič,s a Slovenian diplomat who has been serving as European Commissioner for Crisis Management in the Von der Leyen Commission since 2019, said on the 15th of October, “The catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza is about to reach breaking point. Desperately needed fuel, water, food and medicine must reach people trapped in Gaza immediately.” (source).
It took Von Der Leyen a whole week before she advocated humanitarian aid being sent to Gaza and that was only after meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
However, still, lorry loads of life-saving aid for the people in Gaza have been sitting on the other side of the Rafah Crossing for days. Yesterday SG António Guterres called for that aid to be let through. “They are the difference between life and death to so many people in Gaza,” he said
20 Truckloads Too little Too Late
The President of the EU Commission along with other leaders should hang their heads in shame at neglecting to help provide humanitarian assistance to civilians from the outset, but Von Der Leyen who has had many calls for her resignation from the European people, wants to sweep her complicity in war crimes under the carpet, it seems.
It also seems that the small amount of aid sent to Gaza is being used to temporarily appease the public, and Van Der Leyen welcoming the aid will not exonerate her, nor will it go anywhere near to “alleviating “the suffering of innocent people.”
“The international community cannot continue to fail them”, says Motasem-Dalloul from Middle East Monitor. who notes that “Even 100 truckloads of medical aid would be insufficient to aid Gaza, let alone 20” and opines; “At the time, the world leaders “did their best” to let 20 truckloads of aid to Gaza. They are sending the most developed arms and destructive weapons to the Israeli occupation and sending large amounts of financial assistance.
“Biden alone has allocated $14 billion to the Israeli occupation in addition to food, fruits, and vegetables to cover the deficit in the Israeli market resulting from the lack of workers in the agricultural sector.”[…..] “ The permission to receive this very little amount of aid to Gaza is aimed at telling the world that Gaza is receiving assistance under Israeli occupation“ [….] if any party wants to help Gaza, it must push the Israeli occupation to cease fire, stop targeting civilians and help lift the 17-year-old strict Israeli siege (source).
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza was already precarious and has now reached a catastrophic level, leaders pretended not to notice. They will also pretend not to notice that 20 truckloads of aid is clearly not enough and does not offer a population of more than 2 million people, genuine, humanitarian assistance. It would not have been nearly enough before this current crisis, and especially not now with the extra demands.
Please watch this brilliant interview, where Piers Morgan cannot take complete control for a change.
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