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Israeli Strikes Target Aid Groups as UNRWA Hangs On by a Thread and 2 Million Gazans Need Help

HeadlineFeb 06, 2024

As Gazans brace for an expected Israeli ground invasion of Rafah, unrelenting attacks across the besieged territory continue, as the death toll tops 27,500 people with another 67,000 wounded after nearly four months of daily attacks. Israeli strikes hit residential areas, elementary schools, hospitals and aid distribution sites all within recent days. The Palestine Red Crescent Society published footage Monday showing its Jabaliya headquarters in northern Gaza heavily destroyed after Israeli attacks. Meanwhile, an UNRWA food convoy was attacked by Israeli artillery fire Monday. This is Juliette Touma, communications director for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency.

Juliette Touma: “It was not the first time an UNRWA convoy with the United Nations was attacked. It’s the third time a convoy belonging to UNRWA has been exposed to an attack on its way to the north of Gaza or when it is coming back from the north. And this is not acceptable. Humanitarian convoys, according to international humanitarian law, must be protected from all parties to the conflict, also during combat.”

The U.N. has appointed a panel to independently review Israeli allegations that a handful of UNRWA staff were involved in Hamas’s October 7 attacks. The panel’s findings are expected to be released in late March. The U.S. and a dozen other countries have already halted funding for the life-saving agency. Nearly the entire population of Gaza is displaced and reliant on aid. This is Ayesha Abu Al-Khair, a mother displaced from Gaza City.

Ayesha Abu Al-Khair: “In 2024, we’re dreaming of living our lives. People move forward and live their lives. We are still chasing a plate of food and bread for our children to survive. … We ask of the president of the United States to help the people of Gaza, send aid. He can see the situation here in Gaza and how difficult life is and how children are lacking food and water. Instead of helping Israel with rockets and bombardments, he should help the people of Gaza and look at how much the people are struggling to get a plate of food or a loaf of bread.”

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