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Israel hits back at UN, accusing it of ‘stalling’ aid entry into Gaza

The country also refuted U.N. claims of "collective punishment."

Trucks with humanitarian aid arrive at the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 18, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Trucks with humanitarian aid arrive at the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 18, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Israel accused the United Nations on Wednesday of not doing enough to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Defense Ministry agency responsible for civilian affairs in the territories, responded to a tweet by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini blaming Jerusalem for subjecting Gazans to “collective punishment with too little humanitarian aid allowed in.”

The agency tweeted back: “You can’t keep avoiding the facts: There is no collective punishment. 2 crossings are open. You said you can transfer 200 trucks a day in Kerem Shalom, yet you’re not scraping 100. Over the last 80 days, we’ve adjusted ourselves, all you’ve been doing is stalling.”

Furthermore, Israel has accused Hamas of delaying aid shipments and of stealing supplies from the Gazan people. Numerous video clips shared to social media channels of Hamas operatives commandeering aid trucks for themselves have backed up those claims.

“Humanitarian aid trucks wait more than an hour and a half outside the Rafah crossing, waiting for the Palestinian side in Gaza to open,” Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, the Israel Defense Forces’ Arabic-language spokesman, tweeted on Dec. 13.

“Residents of Gaza, why does aid not reach you? Hamas does not care about the residents of the Gaza Strip,” he added.

Israel opened the Kerem Shalom Crossing to inspect humanitarian aid trucks last month. However, the trucks must still enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing from Sinai.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing, located at the junction of the Gaza Strip–Israel border and the Gaza-Egypt border, had been closed since the start of the war on Oct. 7, which followed a bloody mass assault on southern Israel by Hamas terrorists.

This move was meant to facilitate an increase in aid trucks entering the Strip. Israel previously inspected the trucks at the smaller Nitzana Crossing with Egypt before they made their way to Rafah.

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