07 May 2024, 16:04

UN says its access to Gaza's Rafah crossing 'denied' by Israel

GENEVA, May 7, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Israeli authorities have denied the UN access to the closed Rafah crossing, the main entry point for humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, the United nations said Tuesday.

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN's humanitarian agency OCHA, said there was only a one-day buffer of fuel to run humanitarian operations inside the besieged Palestinian territory.

"We currently do not have any physical presence at the Rafah crossing as our access... has been denied by COGAT," he said, referring to the Israeli agency that oversees supplies into the Palestinian territories.

"We have been told there will be no crossings of personnel or goods in or out for the time being. That has a massive impact on how much stock do we have.

"There's a very, very short buffer of one day of fuel available.
"As fuel only comes in through Rafah, the one day buffer is for the entire operation in Gaza."

If no fuel comes in, "it would be a very effective way of putting the humanitarian operation in its grave", said Laerke.

"Currently, the two main arteries for getting aid into Gaza are currently choked off," he said, referring to the Rafah crossing from Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel.

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