Israel says aid to Gaza is ramping up — but the UN says This

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 Israeli action this week to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza has been significant in response to growing US pressure. But as reports of famine in the Palestinian enclave grow, humanitarian officials warn that progress is still sluggish and that much more has to be done.
With the Israeli military opening a new crossing point into northern Gaza, enabling the entry of a first convoy of trucks, the number of assistance vehicles entering Gaza has almost doubled this week, according to Israeli officials.

Appreciating these advances, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, emphasized how urgently Gaza needs assistance. He stressed that Israel's duty goes beyond letting relief vehicles into Gaza to include making sure supplies are distributed safely inside the territory.

Israel gave its okay last week.
Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

419 humanitarian supply trucks were examined and moved to Gaza on Monday, 468 trucks on Tuesday—the biggest one-day total since the start of the conflict—and 298 trucks on Wednesday, according to COGAT. UNRWA, however, gave lesser numbers: 246 trucks arrived on Monday, 212 on Tuesday, and 141 on Wednesday.

There is a reason for the disparity in the figures: different counting procedures. Although UN organizations count vehicles within Gaza upon arrival for distribution, Israel counts trucks upon arrival at its ports for inspection and entrance. Inspections, turned away goods, and aid being unloaded and reloaded onto other trucks all add to this disparity.

Furthermore, in compliance with agency standards, vehicles checked by COGAT are usually barely half full. Though this practice adds to the discrepancy in published figures, COGAT refuted claims that it needs vehicles to be half loaded.

A UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesman, Jens Laerke, stressed that comparing daily truck counts ignores the delays that happen at warehouses and crossings. Laerke underlined the significance of evaluating assistance delivery holistically rather than concentrating just on truck counts.

COGAT, meantime, has charged the UN with "colossal failures" in aid distribution and stated that hundreds of relief vehicles are piled up on the Gaza side of a crossing, waiting for UN agencies to pick them up.

The dispute about the numbers of relief trucks is a reflection of the wider hostility between Israel and the UN, which was made worse by Israeli criticism of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and charges of UN personnel involvement in the October 7 attacks.

UN organizations claim that Palestinian needs are still unfulfilled even though Israel has promised to boost aid. According to UNRWA, 177 aid trucks have averaged entering Gaza per day since the start of April at the Kerem Abu Salem and Rafah crossings, suggesting that there are still major obstacles in the way of making sure that enough humanitarian help gets to those in need in Gaza.

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