Official says UN unable to use Israel-designated safe route due to Palestinians looting aid

A UN official says the agency responsible for most of the aid distribution in Gaza is still unable to use a route introduced by the IDF to help humanitarian goods flow into the Strip.

The official says the agency, known as UNRWA, tried to send a convoy of aid trucks down the route today after canceling its convoy yesterday because of what it termed as persistent law and order concerns. However, Palestinians took goods from most of the trucks along the way and today’s convoy had to stand down, the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to discuss with the media the movement of aid along the newly declared route.

The UN official also disputes an Israeli claim that aid groups no longer need to coordinate their use of the route, asserting that coordination is still necessary because the area remains an active combat zone.

Aid groups contend that Israeli inspections, ongoing fighting and desperate residents taking cargo has paralyzed aid delivery to Gaza’s south. Israel blames the UN and other aid agencies for not ramping up their ability to deliver the backlog of aid.

COGAT, the Israeli military body in charge of facilitating aid into the territory, has said 62 commercial trucks used the designated corridor yesterday. The commercial trucks are operated separately from UN-run aid convoys. COGAT has declined to say who is handling the commercial trucking operations.

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