Oxfam: Famine risk increases as Israel makes Gaza aid response virtually impossible

Photo: The Electronic Intifada – Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza after an Israeli airstrike on 11th May 2024.

In a press release published 3rd June 2024, Oxfam International highlighted aspects of the ongoing horror inflicted on Palestinian civilians, including women and children, by Israel’s relentless ground and air assaults in the Gaza Strip.

The press release opens with the following observations:

Israel’s relentless air and land bombardment and deliberate obstruction of the humanitarian response is making it virtually impossible for aid agencies to reach trapped, starved civilians in Gaza, Oxfam said today, as the latest ceasefire deal negotiations continue.  

A lethal combination of closed border crossings, ongoing airstrikes, reduced logistical capacity due to evacuation notices and a failing Israeli permission process that debilitates humanitarian movement within Gaza, have created an impossible environment for aid agencies to operate effectively.

With the Rafah Crossing closed since 6 May, Kerem Shalom is the only crossing that thousands of humanitarian aid trucks queued at Rafah could be re-routed to use, but inside is an active combat zone and extremely dangerous. Long delays in Israeli approval to collect and move any aid that enters, means that missions often have to be aborted.

Further, the press release condemns Israel’s mendacity, its war crimes and its gross breaches of international law:

Israel claimed weeks ago that it would provide full humanitarian support and medical assistance to civilians it had told to move. Not only is this not happening, but its ongoing impunity, bombardment and deliberate obstruction have created unprecedented and impossibly dangerous conditions for humanitarian agencies to operate.

As the occupying power, Israel is legally obligated not to restrict or delay the entry of goods required to meet the basic needs of Gaza’s residents, and must actively guarantee the continuous and uninterrupted supply of all aid.

In the context of the carnage inflicted on Palestinian civilians by Israel Defense Forces, Oxfam has once again called:

… for an immediate, permanent ceasefire to end the death and destruction, full and permanent access of all ground crossings for humanitarian aid to be delivered at scale and the release of all hostages and unlawfully detained Palestinian prisoners.

Oxfam’s full press release can be accessed here.

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