Palestinians living packed into unhealthy shelters, on streets without food, says UN official

Israel targets a residence belonging to Nofal family near White Mosque in Beach Camp, located to west of Gaza City. [Photo: X/ QudsNen]

The deputy executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), Carl Skau, expressed deep concern about the desperate living conditions in Gaza where more than 17,000 people have lost lives in Israeli bombardment.

He described a distressing situation where people are cramped into unhealthy shelters or residing on the streets with insufficient food.

Skau’s remarks came after he, along with Corinne Fleischer, the WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe, and Palestine Country Director Samer AbdelJaber, visited the Gaza Strip to demonstrate their commitment to the Palestinian people and support WFP employees.

Skau highlighted the visible fear in the eyes of women and children in the besieged enclave, where ongoing Israeli attacks have claimed the lives of more than 17,000 civilians.

He painted a grim picture of the challenges faced, including confusion at distribution points, supermarkets with bare shelves, and overcrowded shelters, all set against the backdrop of the constant threat of bombings.

Commending the WFP staff for their efforts, Skau underscored the dire situation in Gaza, emphasising the need for a humanitarian ceasefire. He pointed out the obstacles in delivering aid, citing the scarcity of food supplies, absence of fuel, interruptions to communication systems, and the lack of security for both staff and the people they serve.

Skau stressed that the recent seven-day pause demonstrated that humanitarian aid can be delivered under favorable conditions.

However, he noted that more than one crossing is required, and once inside, free and safe passage is essential to reach Palestinians wherever they are. He concluded by stating that a lasting resolution to the conflict is necessary for a comprehensive solution.

The military offensive by Israel resumed on December 1, following a week-long humanitarian pause, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The relentless air and ground attacks since October 7, have resulted in at least 17,487 Palestinian casualties and more than 46,480 injuries.

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