#Gaza: The Israeli Authorities continue to deny humanitarian access to the United Nations

05 May 2024

From Philippe Lazzarini, the UNRWA Commissioner-General as posted on his official X account (previously known as Twitter)

Just this week, they have denied - for the second time- my entry to Gaza where I planned to be with our UNRWA teams including those on the front lines.

The past while recorded an increase in the denial of humanitarian access & attacks on humanitarian workers and convoys.

Only in the past 2 weeks, we have recorded 10 incidents involving shooting at convoys, arrests of UN staff including bullying, stripping them naked, threats with arms & long delays at checkpoints forcing convoys to move during the dark or abort.

These incidents happen repeatedly at the time we are engaged in a race against the clock to avert famine in #Gaza. It also creates fear among courageous & committed humanitarian teams.

Since the beginning of the war, the U.N. including UNRWA & other humanitarian personnel, premises and operations have been blatantly disregarded.

Today, Palestinian armed groups launched rockets at the Kerem Shalom crossing causing its closure.

It is used for most humanitarian deliveries. I demand an independent investigation & accountability for the blatant disregard of humanitarian workers, operations, and facilities, all protected under international law.

To do otherwise would set a dangerous precedent and compromise humanitarian work around the world.

I call on the Israeli Authorities to facilitate humanitarian access across the Gaza Strip including to the north.

I also call on Hamas and other armed groups to stop any attacks on humanitarian crossings, refrain from aid diversion and make sure assistance reaches all those in need.

The denial of humanitarian access is a violation of humanitarian law.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Your support is crucial to help us provide emergency aid 
to displaced families in Gaza

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