Monday, March 18, 2024

Israel blocks aid to Gaza: Oxfam


The Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: Oxfam Accuses Israel of Blocking Aid

In a scathing report released on Monday, anti-poverty charity Oxfam accused Israel of intentionally preventing the delivery of aid into Gaza during its conflict with Hamas, in clear violation of international humanitarian law. The nongovernmental organization highlighted that Israel has been systematically and deliberately obstructing any meaningful international humanitarian response in the Palestinian territory, despite an order by the International Court of Justice in January to increase aid in Gaza.

According to Oxfam, Israel’s actions have only worsened the already dire conditions in Gaza. The charity’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sally Abi Khalil, expressed concern over Israel’s failure to facilitate the international aid effort and accused Israeli authorities of actively hindering it. Oxfam went as far as to suggest that Israel is not taking all necessary measures within its power to prevent genocide in Gaza.

One of the key issues highlighted by Oxfam is the inefficient inspection rules imposed by Israeli authorities, causing aid trucks attempting to enter Gaza to be stuck in queues for an average of 20 days. Additionally, Israel has been arbitrarily rejecting “dual-use” items – civilian goods that also have potential military applications, such as backup generators and torches. Oxfam described the list of rejected items as overwhelming and constantly changing, leading to unnecessary delays in aid delivery.

The report also shed light on specific instances where Israeli authorities rejected essential items in Oxfam shipments without providing any valid reasons. For example, water bags and water testing kits were initially denied entry before being permitted later on. Oxfam emphasized that such actions not only hinder the delivery of vital aid but also exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Furthermore, Oxfam condemned the attacks on aid workers, humanitarian facilities, and aid convoys by Israeli forces. The organization raised concerns about access restrictions imposed on relief staff, particularly in northern Gaza, limiting their ability to provide much-needed assistance to the vulnerable population in the region.

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza has been exacerbated by Israel’s blockade and restrictions on aid delivery, as highlighted by Oxfam’s report. The charity called on Israeli authorities to comply with international humanitarian law, facilitate the entry of essential aid supplies, and ensure the protection of civilians in the occupied territory. Failure to address these issues not only violates human rights but also undermines efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza.

As the international community continues to monitor the situation in Gaza, it is imperative for all parties involved to prioritize the well-being of civilians and uphold their obligations under international law. Oxfam’s report serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza and ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.

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