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UN Announces Suspension Of Nighttime Movements In Gaza Strip

03.04.2024 21:27

Suspension for at least 48 hours will ‘allow for further evaluation of the security issues that impact our personnel,’ civilians, says spokesperson.

The UN said Wednesday it is suspending nighttime movements for its personnel for at least 48 hours following the killing of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers in the Gaza Strip by Israel.

The move is "to allow for further evaluation of the security issues that impact our personnel on the ground and of course, the civilian population," spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a news conference.

Emphasizing the urgent need to assist those in Gaza as the threat of famine looms, Dujarric stressed the need for "humanitarian staff and supplies to be able to move freely and safely across the Gaza Strip."

He noted that barriers to humanitarian aid not only hinder access but cause resources to be unnecessarily diverted.

Dujarric said the decision to suspend aid operations by WCK and other groups directly affects those who rely on them.

"If World Central Kitchen is not cooking, then there are people who are not eating," he added.

The World Central Kitchen confirmed Tuesday that seven of its humanitarian aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The workers were nationals of Australia, Poland, the UK, Palestine, as well as US-Canadian dual citizens.

Despite coordinating movements with the Israeli army, the humanitarian organization said the convoy was hit as it was leaving a warehouse in the southern Gaza city of Deir al-Balah, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on a maritime route.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas, which killed less than 1,200 people.

Nearly 33,000 Palestinians have been killed and 75,577 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which last week asked Tel Aviv to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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