News ID: 126237
Publish Date : 15 April 2024 - 22:15

Israel Hit Over 350 Humanitarian Sites, Aid Convoys in Gaza Since October 7

GAZA (Dispatches) – At least 357 humanitarian-run sites and convoys in Gaza whose coordinates had been shared in advance with were hit by the Zionist regime before the World Central Kitchen (WCK) attack this month, Middle East Eye has learnt.
UN officials and aid workers, many speaking on condition of anonymity, have told MEE it had been clear for months that the humanitarian notification system in Gaza was broken.
But when the Zionist regime’s military killed seven aid workers, including six foreigners, in the WCK convoy on 1 April, the flawed system came under global scrutiny. 
Zionist war minister Yoav Gallant announced the establishment of a new humanitarian deconfliction cell to ensure the security of aid workers.  
Yet two weeks on from the attack, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s outgoing top aid official working in Gaza told MEE on Saturday that “nothing substantive” had changed in the way humanitarians share their locations with the Israeli military to protect themselves.
McGoldrick also told reporters on Friday, his last day in the post, that aid organizations need a hotline to communicate directly with the Israeli military during emergencies and equipment such as two-way radios and satellite phones, data-x-items which are standard for aid workers in other conflicts, but not in Gaza.
 “All we can do is keep pressing them for that,” McGoldrick said.
The majority of the hits to deconfliction humanitarian sites - 352 - were to locations run by UNRWA, the largest aid organization operating in Gaza, including a food distribution center and schools sheltering thousands of civilians.
Collating publicized accounts, MEE has counted five additional locations and convoys of other humanitarian organizations whose coordinates had been shared were also hit.
They include a compound in al-Mawasi housing staff working for the International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestine, the Gaza City offices of Doctors of the World, a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) convoy in Gaza City and an MSF shelter in al-Mawasi, and an American Near East Refugee (ANERA) shelter in Deir al-Balah.
The WCK attack brought the toll of aid workers killed in Gaza since 7 October to at least 216, the vast majority of whom were Palestinians killed by aerial bombardment, according to figures compiled by the Aid Worker Security Database.
Aid workers who spoke to MEE said the scale of incidents was unprecedented, even compared to the most dangerous war zones and emergencies they have experienced.
“To be frank, every single day we are discussing internally whether to leave Gaza. We should not be there,” said Brice de la Vingne, MSF’s head of emergency unit. “The level of risk we are taking, I’ve never seen.”
Beyond the impact on the lives of aid workers and their families, an insecure deconfliction system means that aid distribution, which is already hugely problematic in Gaza even as famine sets in, is disrupted. 
After the attack, WCK - which had been providing more hot meals in Gaza than the World Food Programme and Unrwa combined - and Anera both suspended their operations.