UN body says aid delivery to Gaza 'almost impossible' amid intensified fighting

IANS Photo

Gaza, May 17 (IANS) The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that distributing humanitarian aid "is almost impossible" in Gaza, due to the irregular fuel supply and interrupted communications amid the ongoing intense war between Israel and Hamas.

OCHA in a statement posted on social media platform X on Thursday said that key crossings for aid into Gaza have been closed for several days and now the access to the Palestinian enclave is neither safe nor logistically feasible.

On May 5, Israel closed the only commercial crossing of Kerem Shalom with Gaza, in response to a Hamas rocket attack on an Israeli military point nearby that killed four soldiers.

Shortly after its reopening on May 8, militants fired eight rockets from southern Gaza's Rafah toward the Kerem Shalom crossing area in Israel.

The attack came after the Israeli army announced on May 7 "operational control" of the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing, which in effect closed this crucial entry point for truckloads of aid from Egypt into Gaza.

OCHA and other humanitarian organizations warned of the devastating impact of the crossings' closure on over 2 million Palestinians in war-stricken Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Thursday, the Jordan Armed Forces said it conducted three airdrops of humanitarian aid over various locations in southern Gaza.

The move was part of Jordan's commitment to assisting Gazans to overcome the difficult conditions, said the army without detailing further.

Earlier in the day, local sources and eyewitnesses in Gaza told Xinhua that aircraft were seen flying over and dropping food aid through parachutes in Al-Mawasi, an open area along the enclave's southwestern coast that is now flocked with residents coming at the Israeli army's evacuation order.

This is the first eyewitness report of an aid drop operation in Rafah since the Israeli army's renewed attacks on the southernmost Gazan city last week.