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UN calls for more humanitarian access for Gaza

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United Nations, May 6 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations considers that the continued denials of access to aid and humanitarian work in Gaza is a violation of international law, and notes the need for accountability.

After hindering a quarter of humanitarian missions to the north of the enclave in April, Israeli authorities denied the entry for the second time in the last week to the commissioner general of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini.

In addition to this, ten incidents were recorded by UNRWA in recent days, involving shooting at convoys, the arrest of UN staff members, including harassment, stripping, threatening them with weapons and subjecting them to long delays at checkpoints, which has forced convoys to move during darkness or abort their missions, the commissioner general said.

In a recent statement, the UNRWA called for an independent investigation and accountability for the blatant disregard for humanitarian workers, operations and facilities.

In Lazzarini’s opinion, the current circumstances create fear among humanitarian workers while setting a dangerous precedent that may compromise humanitarian work around the world.

“Since the beginning of the war, the United Nations, including the UNRWA and other humanitarian personnel, facilities and operations, have been blatantly ignored,” the representative wrote on X, adding that denying access of humanitarian aid is a violation of humanitarian law.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) denounced last week the continued limitations of access faced by United Nations workers on the ground to bring vital supplies.

Among others, the agency mentioned denials of planned missions or prolonged delays at military checkpoints set up by Israel on roads between northern and southern Gaza, thus affecting a quarter of the operations in April, while 10 percent were denied, Lazzarini confirmed.

During the current round of hostilities, the UNRWA reached hundreds of thousands of Gazan households with essential aid despite violence, Israeli controls and lack of funding.

However, this assistance is far from being enough to alleviate the humanitarian crisis that the Palestinian territory has gone through since October 7.

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