Dec 7, 2023 at 8:48 PM Update: 7 hours ago
Citizens in Gaza are increasingly in dire straits due to Israeli attacks and forced evacuations. Oxfam has stopped counting aid convoys. “No matter how much comes in, it doesn’t meet the needs.”
The way in which Israel has resumed military operations since the ceasefire and expanded it into southern Gaza is having a catastrophic impact on civilians, humanitarian organizations said at a joint press conference on Thursday.
The situation is “getting worse and worse,” said Isabelle Defourny, president of the French branch of Doctors Without Borders. This is why food and water shortages are increasing. “Soon, famine will claim more lives than bombings,” says Sandrine Simon of Médecins du Monde (MdM).
According to the aid organizations, too little aid is being received. This leads to despair and tension. According to Defourny, a Doctors Without Borders truck has already been looted for this reason. People thought there was food in the truck.
“Before the war, about five hundred trucks entered Gaza every day,” Defourny says. The humanitarian need was already great then. Now there is a war, but far fewer trucks enter the area.
In addition, the medical system is almost non-functional and people live under the constant threat of disease.
Now that the Israeli army is advancing south, people are being forced into an increasingly smaller area. “It is humanly impossible to put so many people in such a small area without seeing a massive outbreak of disease,” said Shaina Low of the Norwegian aid group Norwegian Refugee Council.
‘So-called safe areas are also not safe’
“There are no safe places in Gaza,” Low emphasizes. According to her, the areas that Israel considers safe are not safe either. That is why she speaks of “so-called” safe areas.
“We have seen Israeli bombings in places where people were told to go,” added Alexandra Saieh of Save the Children. “Families are given the choice between one death sentence and another.”
Defourny calls the situation “desperate” and speaks of “a massacre” because, according to her, Israel does not distinguish between military and other targets. According to her, the army uses a disproportionate amount of force. “There is no change in the way Israel fights the war.”
Numerous places in Gaza have been razed to the ground. Photo: ANP
She notices that bombs fall very close to hospitals in the south. But according to her, it is not being said that the attacks are necessary because of Hamas. “Patients and medical staff are being killed.” Some doctors leave their patients behind because they have to choose between their own life and that of the patient.
Five Doctors Without Borders cars were recently fired upon, even though the army reportedly knew about the move. The organization’s name was clearly printed on the cars, she says. “Despite this, they shot at the cars and two people died.” Doctors Without Borders reported this to the Israeli army. “They’re going to do their own investigation.”
Bombs make it difficult to distribute relief supplies
In addition, humanitarian organizations are often unable to distribute the few aid supplies available to people because the area is bombed so often. In fact, the aid workers themselves are having difficulty finding food and shelter. “We have staff members who sleep on the street with their children,” says Low.
According to the aid organizations, Israel is undermining the aid they can provide and this is partly because the government is allowing few aid supplies and aid workers into the area. There is a call within the organizations for the United Nations to assess aid supplies, as has happened in Northern Syria and Yemen.
According to the aid organizations, a ceasefire is the only solution. The more infrastructure is destroyed, the more difficult it becomes to rebuild, emphasizes Jesse Marks of Refugees International. With every hospital destroyed, it takes months to rebuild. “We are talking about a long-term catastrophe.”
The conflict explained
#Cry #aid #organizations #Gaza #Families #choice #death #sentence