world : Aid convoy denied entry to northern Gaza, UN says

world : Aid convoy denied entry to northern Gaza, UN says
world : Aid convoy denied entry to northern Gaza, UN says

Friday 14 June 2024 10:31 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Mr Elder described how on Wednesday he was travelling on a Unicef lorry in an aid convoy trying to get from southern to northern Gaza.

He said that despite having all the necessary paperwork it took them 13 hours to travel about 40km (30 miles).

After spending eight hours at checkpoints they were finally denied entry, he said, "so 10,000 children who were going to benefit from nutritional supplies, medical supplies, did not".

Mr Elder said he did not know why the convoy was denied entry, but said such denials were "consistent and relentless" and that there were hundreds of examples.

The IDF said in a statement that a problem arose because Unicef had used a lorry with a rear closed cabin which required prior coordination with the authorities, adding that Hamas frequently exploited closed cabins to smuggle weapons and terrorists into northern Gaza.

It said Unicef had initially claimed the lorry did not include a closed cabin but this claim turned out to be false.

"Once the situation was clarified, [Unicef] was offered to continue its movement northward without the mentioned truck or to submit appropriate coordination for the following day," the IDF added.

"As long as the coordination process is properly conducted, passage will be allowed," the statement continued.

Mr Elder also said that during the checkpoint wait he saw about eight fishermen trying to catch fish with a single net.

"Suddenly we heard a tank coming down, we heard... automatic fire," he said.

"We saw two men on the beach, two fishermen fleeing, one was shot in the back, one in the neck."

The Unicef spokesman said the WHO, who had paramedics in the convoy, called through to the IDF to be allowed to give the men medical support, but that support was denied.

He said he was later able to see the fishermen's wounds when their colleagues were allowed to retrieve the bodies.

The IDF said it was looking into what it described as the "incident on the beach which was mentioned in the interview".

Mr Elder, who was last in Gaza six weeks ago, said things were much worse now.

"It's the first time I've seen a real level of despondency," he said.

"It's very unsettling to see a child when their parent can't protect them, it's heartbreaking when a parent can't protect their child, so increasingly I'm hearing people say I just want this over, I'm happy if there's an air strike on me tonight."

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