UNRWA says Israel will no longer approve its food convoys to northern Gaza

By Thomson Reuters Mar 24, 2024 | 11:14 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) – The head of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday Israel had informed the U.N. 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 Oct. 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 + lack of shelter,” Lazzarini added.

(Reporting by Hatem Maher, Editing by Louise Heavens and Giles Elgood)