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          size="-2"><a class="domain reader-domain"
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/un-warns-gaza-food-aid-about-run-out">https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/un-warns-gaza-food-aid-about-run-out</a></font>
        <h1 class="reader-title">UN warns that Gaza food aid about to
          run out</h1>
        <p class="node__submitted">
          <span class="field field-author"><a
              href="https://electronicintifada.net/people/maureen-clare-murphy">Maureen
              Clare Murphy</a></span> <span class="field field-blog">-</span>
          <span class="field field-publication-date"><span
              class="date-display-single"
              content="2019-05-14T23:08:34+00:00">14 May 2019</span></span>
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                <figure id="file-78811"><source media="(min-width:
                    72rem)"><figcaption><small><span></span></small></figcaption></figure>
                <p>Every one in two Palestinians in Gaza is food aid
                  dependent, and the largest provider of humanitarian
                  assistance in the territory is warning that it may
                  soon be unable to provide that aid.</p>
                <p>UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine
                  refugees, <a
href="https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/more-one-million-people-gaza-%E2%80%93-half-population-territory-%E2%80%93-may-not-have">stated</a>
                  on Monday that it must secure $60 million by June to
                  be able to provide food aid to one million Palestinian
                  refugees in Gaza – half of the territory’s population.</p>
                <p>Some 620,000 Palestinians in Gaza survive on $1.60
                  per day. An additional 390,000 survive on around $3.50
                  per day, according to the agency.</p>
                <p>It is the <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/high-cost-keeping-gaza-under-siege">latest
                    plea</a> by a UN body for increased international
                  assistance to Gaza, where, as UNRWA puts it,
                  “financial support has been outpaced by the growth in
                  needs.”</p>
                <h2>Israeli siege increases need</h2>
                <p>Those needs are a direct consequence of Israel’s
                  land, sea and air blockade on the territory, now in
                  its 12th year, and successive Israeli military
                  offensives that have wrought widespread destruction
                  and greatly diminished Gaza’s productive sector.</p>
                <p>The International Committee of the Red Cross has <a
href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-blockade-icrc/israels-gaza-blockade-breaks-law-says-icrc-idUSTRE65D00R20100614">said</a>
                  that Israel’s blockade of Gaza violates the Fourth
                  Geneva Convention.</p>
                <p>Israel’s use of force in the territory has been the
                  subject of multiple UN commissions of inquiry.</p>
                <p>“From fewer than 80,000 Palestine refugees receiving
                  UNRWA social assistance in Gaza in the year 2000,
                  there are today over one million people who need
                  emergency food assistance without which they cannot
                  get through their day,” the agency stated.</p>
                <p>More than half of Gaza’s population is unemployed,
                  one of the highest rates in the world. International
                  aid and remittances from abroad “have held Gaza back
                  from the brink of total collapse,” according to UNRWA.</p>
                <p>Last year the US, formerly UNRWA’s single largest
                  donor, said that it would stop funding the agency. In
                  addition to freezing $300 million in funding to UNRWA,
                  the US cut $200 million in bilateral aid to the West
                  Bank and Gaza.</p>
                <p>The aid cuts are at once a <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/us-slashes-aid-gaza-hospitals-run-out-fuel">punishment</a>
                  against the Palestinian leadership for protesting <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521">Trump’s
                    recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel</a>
                  and an attempt to bludgeon Palestinians into
                  submitting to the White House’s “peace” process and <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-hopes-make-palestinian-refugees-disappear">erase</a>
                  Palestinian refugees <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/omar-karmi/jared-kushners-sleight-hand">out
                    of existence</a>.</p>
                <p>“The American administration’s actions are part of a
                  wider campaign that aims at imposing a one-sided
                  solution on Palestinian refugees – contrary to
                  international law, relevant UN resolutions, and the
                  principle of justice,” the Palestinian Human Rights
                  Organizations Council <a
                    href="http://mezan.org/en/post/23526">stated</a> on
                  Tuesday.</p>
                <p>The council called on the UN General Assembly “to
                  establish a mandatory financing mechanism, rather than
                  voluntary state contributions, in order to secure
                  consistent and sustainable funding of UNRWA,” with an
                  expanded mandate “to fulfill the legal protection
                  standards that refugees are entitled to.”</p>
                <p>UNRWA – in contrast to the UN High Commission for
                  Refugees, which looks after refugees from the rest of
                  the world – has <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-israel-hopes-make-palestinian-refugees-disappear">no
                    mandate</a> to facilitate the exercise the right of
                  return home for refugees.</p>
                <h2>8.7 million Palestinian refugees worldwide</h2>
                <p>Today there are 8.7 million Palestinian refugees and
                  displaced persons worldwide, constituting two-thirds
                  of the Palestinian people.</p>
                <p>“Israel’s failure to respect the right to return for
                  Palestinians who were forced to flee their homes in
                  1948 is a flagrant violation of international law that
                  has fuelled decades of suffering on a mass scale for
                  Palestinian refugees across the region,” Amnesty
                  International stated on Tuesday.</p>
                <p>Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee
                  from towns and villages now inside Israel.
                  <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/one-year-gazas-great-march-return">For
                    more than a year</a> Palestinians in the territory
                  have protested against the blockade and to demand
                  their right to return to the lands from which their
                  families were expelled before, during and after the
                  establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.</p>
                <p>More than 200 Palestinians have been killed during
                  the protests, dubbed the <a
                    href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/great-march-return">Great
                    March of Return</a>.</p>
                <p>Around 60 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli
                  military during protests in Gaza this day last year,
                  and a further 1,300 were <a
href="https://www.msf.org/gaza-one-year-after-protests-bloodiest-day-palestine">injured
                    by live ammunition</a>, making it the bloodiest day
                  yet during the Great March of Return.</p>
                <p>The <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/nearly-300-palestinians-killed-29000-injured-2018">staggering</a>
                  number of casualties during the protests has
                  overwhelmed Gaza’s healthcare system.</p>
                <p>Some 1,700 Palestinians injured during the Gaza
                  demonstrations may require amputations because
                  specialized treatment for what medical groups have
                  described as war injuries resulting from Israeli army
                  sniper fire is unavailable.</p>
                <p>The UN is seeking $20 million for Gaza’s medical
                  facilities which are “under very serious stress,”
                  Jamie McGoldrick, a humanitarian official with the
                  world body, stated <a
                    href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/05/1038101">last
                    week</a>.</p>
                <h2>Two thousand Gaza families still displaced</h2>
                <p>Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of
                  Humanitarian Affairs <a
href="https://www.ochaopt.org/content/march-escalations-gaza-result-more-displacement">said</a>
                  that as of the end of April, there was no funding to
                  cover the basic needs of Palestinians in Gaza still
                  displaced from Israel’s 51-day military offensive on
                  the territory five years ago.</p>
                <p>More than <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/balance-un-gaza-report-cant-hide-massive-israeli-war-crimes">2,200
                    Palestinians were killed</a> during that offensive,
                  and 17,800 homes were destroyed or severely damaged.</p>
                <p>Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in the summer of 2014
                  resulted in the largest internal displacement of
                  Palestinians since 1967, when Israel occupied the
                  territory, along with the West Bank, the Syrian Golan
                  Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula (from which Israel
                  later withdrew).</p>
                <p>As of February this year, more than 2,200 Palestinian
                  families – or 12,300 people – were still displaced as
                  a result of the 2014 offensive.</p>
                <p>Nearly $130 million is needed to address needs
                  resulting from the offensive, according to OCHA,
                  “including for shelter repair ($75 million),
                  reconstruction of houses ($47 million) and cash
                  assistance ($6.5 million).”</p>
                <p><a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/eus-destructive-peace-partner">Israel
                    habitually destroys</a> Palestinian infrastructure
                  in Gaza and third states pay for its reconstruction,
                  with no cost to Israel, which controls what raw
                  materials for reconstruction are brought into the
                  territory.</p>
                <p>Gaza’s population is repeatedly brought to the brink
                  before a stop-gap aid contribution prevents total
                  catastrophe.</p>
                <p><a
href="https://www.ochaopt.org/content/critical-funding-shortages-threaten-all-humanitarian-responses-opt">Last
                    year</a>, OCHA warned that following Israel’s 2014
                  military assault – after which third-party states <a
href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/rebuilding-gaza-donor-pledges#1">pledged
                    $3.5 billion</a> to rebuild the devastated territory
                  – “humanitarian financing to the occupied Palestinian
                  territory has been gradually, but definitively,
                  decreasing year on year.”</p>
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