UN urges Israel not to hold Gaza aid ‘hostage’ due to terrorism
The UN political chief called on Israel Wednesday to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies for Gaza are not “held hostage to political and security developments.”
Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council its meeting was taking place “in the wake of yet another series of violent escalations that threatened to plunge Gaza into war.”
DiCarlo said funding for UN emergency fuel to keep about 250 hospitals, water and sanitation facilities in Gaza operating at a minimum level “has now run out.”
She appealed for $4.5 million to keep critical facilities operating through the end of the year.
DiCarlo also expressed concern at “the dangerously short supply of essential medicines, with 40 percent of essential drugs completely depleted.”
Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since Hamas terror group seized control of Gaza from the internationally backed Palestinian Authority in 2007.
The legal blockade meant to prevent weapons from being transferred into the hands of terrorists, including the ruling Hamas terror group.
DiCarlo said that in recent weeks the humanitarian situation in Gaza had “deteriorated further, due in part to additional restrictions that Israel imposed on the movement of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing” — the primary avenue for food, fuel, construction materials and aid to enter Gaza.
Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing in response to violent riots, terror and arson attacks that have burned thousands of acres of Israeli fields, forests and agricultural land.
The commercial crossing was reopened by Israel on Aug. 15 when it also expanded the fishing zone off Gaza to nine nautical miles.
Despite the expectation of an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement with the terror group, Muslim terrorists continued to riot along the security border, launching firebombs attached to kites and balloons and attempting to infiltrate into Israel in order to murder Jews.