Fri 10 May 2024 9:47 am - Jerusalem Time

UNICEF warns of the consequences of the closure of the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned of "immediate consequences" if the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings remain closed to humanitarian aid and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell described the situation in the Gaza Strip as "terrible."

The UN official stressed that "if the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings are not reopened for the passage of fuel and humanitarian supplies, the consequences will become apparent almost immediately."

Among the expected immediate consequences in Gaza are a power outage to incubators for premature babies, children and families becoming dehydrated or forced to drink dangerous water, in addition to expectations of sewage overflowing, which will increase the spread of diseases, according to the same source.

Russell added, "We warned for months that any military escalation in Rafah would lead to massive human suffering, and now we see that happening before our eyes."

Last Monday, the Israeli army began a military operation in Rafah, claiming that it was “limited in scope,” and hours before it issued warnings to 100,000 Palestinians to forcibly “evacuate” the east of the city.

Israel justifies its invasion of Rafah by claiming that it is “the last stronghold of the Hamas movement,” despite regional and international warnings of catastrophic repercussions due to the presence of about 1.5 million Palestinians in the city, including 1.4 million displaced people.

The Israeli escalation against Rafah came despite Hamas’ announcement, on Monday, of its acceptance of the Egyptian-Qatari proposal for a ceasefire and prisoner exchange. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the movement’s position aims to “undermine the entry of our forces into Rafah,” and “is far from... Necessary requirements of Tel Aviv.

Since last October 7, Israel has been waging a war on Gaza that has left more than 113,000 dead and wounded, most of them children and women, and about 10,000 missing amid massive destruction and famine that has claimed the lives of children and the elderly.

Israel continues the war despite the issuance of a resolution by the UN Security Council to stop the fighting “immediately,” and despite the International Court of Justice demanding that it take immediate measures to prevent acts of “genocide” and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.


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UNICEF warns of the consequences of the closure of the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings