Aid operations in Gaza could grind to a halt within days, UN agencies warn

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Dwindling food and fuel stocks could force aid operations to grind to a halt within days in Gaza as vital crossings remain shut, forcing hospitals to close down and leading to more malnutrition, United Nations aid agencies warned on Friday.

Humanitarian workers have sounded the alarm this week over the closure of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings for aid and people as part of Israel’s military operation in Rafah, where around 1 million uprooted people have been sheltering.

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The Israeli military said a limited operation in Rafah was meant to kill fighters and dismantle infrastructure used by Hamas, which governs the besieged Palestinian territory.

“For five days, no fuel and virtually no humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip, and we are scraping the bottom of the barrel,” said the UNICEF Senior Emergency Coordinator in the Gaza Strip, Hamish Young.

“This is already a huge issue for the population and for all humanitarian actors but in a matter of days, if not corrected, the lack of fuel could grind humanitarian operations to a halt,” he told a virtual briefing.

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More than 100,000 people have fled Rafah in the last five days, he added.

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