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Israel-Hamas war, Gaza airstrikes, UN warns of ‘apocalyptic’ situation

A “more hellish scenario is about to unfold” if more aid is not allowed to enter Gaza, UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings said Monday.

The current amount of aid is insufficient and the conditions required to deliver aid to Gaza do not exist, according to Hastings, the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“If possible, an even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond,” Hastings said in a statement. 

The use of only the Rafah crossing to bring aid trucks does not work, the UN said, despite the efforts of its agencies, the Egyptian and Palestine Red Crescent Society, and other partners. 

The international body added Gaza’s health system is “on its knees” with a lack of clean drinking water, no proper sanitation and poor nutrition for people, and shelters with no capacity.

The situation amounts to a “textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster,” Hastings said. “Humanitarian operations cannot be kept on a drip feed of fuel,” she said, adding that fuel is required for hospitals, clean drinking water, sanitation, social services and UN operations, among others.  

The UN said fuel must be allowed to enter Gaza in a “manner which ensures Israel’s security.”  

Hastings said the UN and NGOs alone can’t support the population of Gaza, stressing that commercial and public sectors must be allowed to bring supplies into the strip.  

The UN said it stands ready to work with all parties to “expand the number of UN-managed safe shelters and to deliver assistance where it is needed.”

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