Aid groups warn of mounting challenges to Gaza operations

Jerusalem   -   Humanitarian workers already face a slew of challenges getting aid to civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and fear that as the Israel-Palestinian group war rages on they may be forced to halt operations.

“There are enormous needs” which are bound to grow, while there is “less and less access”, said the head of a European charity, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Aid groups say the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged Palestinian territory, where the UN has warned of looming famine, has significantly deteriorated since Israeli troops entered eastern Rafah last week.

The Israeli military has launched what it called a “limited” operation, seizing on May 7 the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border -- a key aid conduit that is now shut -- and sparking an exodus of Palestinians seeking safety further north in Gaza. The latest fighting, more than seven months into the war, has cut off access to some areas and left aid crossings either closed or operating at a limited capacity.

A worker for the Paris-based non-governmental organisation Humanity & Inclusion (HI) in the Palestinian territories, also requesting anonymity, said: “We can’t get our teams out, the security conditions are too unstable.”

Israel has vowed to defeat remaining Palestinian group in the southern city of Rafah, which it says is the last bastion of the group whose October 7 attack triggered the war.

The attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Israel’s campaign in Gaza has since killed at least 35,303 people, also mostly civilians, according to data provided by the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

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