UN tells Israel not to politicise Gaza aid

UN emergency fuel to keep about 250 hospitals operating at a minimum level ‘has now run out’

United Nations: The UN political chief called on the Israeli regime on Wednesday to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies for the Gaza Strip are not “held hostage to political and security developments.”

Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council its meeting was taking place “in the wake of yet another series of violent escalations that threatened to plunge Gaza into war.”

She said the recurring violence “highlights the urgency” of UN and Egyptian-led efforts, along with regional and international partners, “to prevent another devastating outbreak of hostilities, respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs, and support intra-Palestinian reconciliation.”

DiCarlo said funding for UN emergency fuel to keep about 250 hospitals, water and sanitation facilities in Gaza operating at a minimum level “has now run out.”

She appealed for $4.5 million (Dh16.51 million) to keep these critical facilities operating through the end of the year.

DiCarlo also expressed concern at “the dangerously short supply of essential medicines, with 40 per cent of essential drugs completely depleted”.

Israel and Egypt have imposed an economically crippling blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized control of the coastal territory from the internationally backed Palestinian National Authority in 2007.

While the closure has devastated Gaza’s economy, it has failed to oust Hamas or loosen its grip on power.

Since July, the occupation regime Israel has launched major attacks on Gaza.

DiCarlo said that in recent weeks the humanitarian situation in Gaza had “deteriorated further, due in part to additional restrictions that Israel imposed on the movement of goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing — the primary avenue for food, fuel, construction materials and aid to enter the beleaguered territory.

“As we work towards a full lifting of the closures on Gaza …,” DiCarlo said, “I call on all parties to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies reach the Strip.”

The occupation regime has killed at least 171 Palestinians since March 30.

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