On-the-record update 2 on situation in Gaza, Palestine

Media update from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on the latest situation in Gaza, Friday 31 May 2024
An update from Suze van Meegen, NRC’s head of operations in Gaza: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“This month, around one million Gazans were herded like cattle into a tiny strip of land on false promises of safety and humanitarian assistance. The carnage in Rafah this week shows that safety is a fallacy. The elaborate obstacle course we are forced to navigate to get the most basic relief to people is making humanitarian assistance one too.

“Delivering humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza is like playing a giant game of snakes and ladders – we make very small steps forward and then end up back at square one. If humanitarian supplies are allowed into Gaza, we might not have fuel with which to transport them. When we have fuel, we may not have cash with which to pay for trucks. The day we can pay for trucks, the roads to the warehouse could be too dangerous to travel. And if we can get to the warehouse, the staff on whom we depend to load cargo could have fled when the explosions came too close. Those same staff are very likely among the hundreds of thousands of people who urgently need supplies that we can’t get to them.

“Despite big promises, we have only seen a trickle of aid into Gaza this week. Of nine potential gateways into the enclave, two are purportedly open. Zikim, into North Gaza, is open just enough to deliver the basics to hundreds of thousands of people in northern Gaza who have nothing left. Each day, more and more trucks join the kilometres-long queue at Kerem Shalom crossing in the south. Very few actually make it through. The new sea corridor into Gaza is temporarily out of action. Airdrops present many risks and cannot be scaled up to provide the level of aid needed. Despite our best efforts, NRC has not received supplies since 3 May.

“Where we sit, it is very difficult to reconcile global commentary about tragic events and outrage with yet another month of death, destructions, and displacement for civilians in Gaza. If this is where we are in the midst of global outrage, what would indifference look like?”

Latest updates from Gaza:

Around half of Gaza’s population has been displaced this month following Israel’s expansion of operations in Rafah and calls for people residing in certain areas to ‘evacuate’. Approximately 1 million Palestinians have been displaced from Rafah since Israel announced operations there earlier this month. A further 100,000 have been displaced due to hostilities in northern Gaza as well.
Those being told by Israel to evacuate have received no assurances of safety, proper accommodation or return once hostilities end for those forced to relocate. The absence of these fundamental guarantees of safety and return, as required by international humanitarian law, qualifies Israel’s relocation directives as forcible transfer, amounting to a serious violation of international law.
The humanitarian response in Rafah is on the verge of collapse with only one hospital partially functioning there, according to the UN.
At least 1,689 Palestinians were killed in Gaza between 1 – 30 May, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.
Only 216 aid trucks have entered Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing since 6 May, according to the UN. No trucks have entered through the Rafah crossing during that period. xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx xsx

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