Gaza hunger crisis worsening, UN says

World Wednesday 06/December/2023 07:27 AM
By: DW
Gaza hunger crisis worsening, UN says

The World Food Program (WFP) has warned that the resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip will intensify the "catastrophic hunger crisis" in the territory.

During the seven-day truce when some aid was allowed into the Gaza Strip, the WFP said it was able to scale up its distribution network and reach around 250,500 people. 

"Tragically, this desperately needed progress is now being lost," the WFP said in a statement late on Tuesday.

"The renewed fighting makes the distribution of aid almost impossible and endangers the lives of humanitarian workers. Above all, it is a disaster for the civilian population of Gaza, more than 2 million people, whose only lifeline is food assistance."

The WFP said that humanitarians require "safe, unimpeded and sustained access" to the Gaza Strip in order to deliver life-saving aid.

"But only a lasting peace can end the suffering and avert the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza," the organization added.

"WFP calls for a humanitarian cease-fire and urges all leaders to work with the utmost urgency to find political solutions that can end the suffering of families on all sides of this harrowing conflict."

Netanyahu meets freed hostages and families of those still held by Hamas

Freed Israeli hostages as well as relatives of those still held by by Hamas  reportedly stormed out of a "tense" meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

The meeting took place 60 days after the October 7 terrorist attack saw Hamas  kidnap around 240 people from Israel.

It was the first time Netanyahu's war cabinet had heard directly from recently released hostages.

Netanyahu said the former hostages testified about abuse at the hands of Hamas.

"I heard stories that broke my heart, I heard about the thirst and hunger, about physical and mental abuse," the Israeli prime minister said at a press conference afterwards.

"I heard and you also heard, about sexual assault and cases of brutal rape unlike anything."

However, Israeli media described the sit-down as tense and participants said it came to an end when around half of them walked out of the room.

"I won't go into the details of what was discussed at the meeting but this entire performance was ugly, insulting, messy," Dani Miran, a father of one of the hostages who walked out of the meeting, told Israeli television.

"They say 'we've done this, we've done that.' [Hamas' Gaza leader Yahya] Sinwar is the one who returned our people, not them. It angers me that they say that they dictated things. They hadn't dictated a single move."

Jennifer Master, whose partner Andrey is a hostage, added that "it was a very turbulent meeting, many people yelling."