US says working with UN and Israel to address chaos hampering Gaza aid distribution

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Illustrative: Palestinians rush trucks as they transport international humanitarian aid from the US-built Trident Pier near Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on May 18, 2024. (AFP)
Illustrative: Palestinians rush trucks as they transport international humanitarian aid from the US-built Trident Pier near Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on May 18, 2024. (AFP)

WASHINGTON — The US is working with the UN and Israel to try and address the problem of lawlessness in Gaza that has severely hampered the distribution of aid throughout the Strip, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says.

Miller explains that humanitarian aid has been piling up on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing and that UN agencies have been unable to deliver it because trucks are being looted by local gangs.

The US is pushing Israel to authorize UN requests for equipment for protection and communication, which have long been rejected, Miller says.

In order to obtain neutrality, UN agencies have long had a policy of not hiring security guards to protect their convoys.

Accordingly, the distribution of humanitarian aid has been much more limited than the distribution of commercial supplies, which are often secured by armed guards.

Addressing the UN Security Council’s monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict earlier today, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield war appeared more critical of Israel’s role in the slow-down of aid.

“We continue to press Israel to create better conditions for facilitating aid delivery inside Gaza,” she said.

“In order for humanitarian organizations to be able to safely continue their lifesaving work, the IDF must implement concrete actions to protect humanitarians and improve the overall security environment inside Gaza,” Thomas-Greenfield continued.

“The lack of an effective deconfliction mechanism nearly nine months into the conflict is unacceptable and continues to put humanitarian actors at tremendous risk,” she said.

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