‘Rampant’ looting, smuggling impeding aid delivery in Gaza, UNRWA says

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini at a press conference on the situation in Gaza at the United Nations offices in Geneva, April 30, 2024. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)
UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini at a press conference on the situation in Gaza at the United Nations offices in Geneva, April 30, 2024. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

The head of the United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees warns that a breakdown of civil order in Gaza has allowed widespread looting and smuggling, and blocked aid deliveries.

More than eight months of war have led to desperate humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian territory and repeated UN warnings of man-made famine there.

“Gaza has been decimated,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini tells the agency’s advisory body. “We have witnessed unprecedented failures of humanity in a territory marked by decades of violence,” he says, according to a written version of his closed-door address in Geneva.

“Palestinians and Israelis have experienced terrible losses and suffered immensely.”

Lazzarini warns that Gazans are in “a living hell, a nightmare from which they cannot wake.”

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