Israel to stop approving aid convoys to northern Gaza, says UNRWA


The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday Israel had informed the UN that it will no longer approve UNRWA food convoys to the north of Gaza.

"This is outrageous and makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted," UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said on social media platform X.

UNRWA, which provides aid and services to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and across the region, has been in crisis since Israel accused a dozen of its staff of involvement in the October 7 Hamas attacks against Israel.

The allegations prompted UNRWA's biggest donor, the United States, and some others to pause funding, putting the agency's future in doubt. However, other countries including Canada, Australia and Sweden have since restored funding.

UNRWA and Egypt said last week that Lazzarini, who was on a visit to Cairo, was denied entry to Gaza by Israeli authorities.

"By preventing UNRWA to fulfill its mandate in Gaza, the clock will tick faster towards famine & many more will die of hunger, dehydration and lack of shelter," Lazzarini added.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris said that there may be “repercussions and consequences” for Israel if it goes ahead with the expected ground operation in Rafah.

In an interview with ABC News broadcast on Saturday, Harris said “we have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a grave mistake.” She added, “let me tell you something...I studied the maps, and there is nowhere for these people to go.”

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