UN Halts Food Distribution in Rafah, Aid Not Being Delivered Through US Pier

The Rafah border crossing has been closed to aid shipments since Israel captured it on May 7

The UN said Tuesday that it halted food distribution in the southern Gaza city of Rafah due to the lack of supplies and that no aid trucks were entering the Strip through the US-built pier, The Associated Press reported.

The vital Rafah border crossing has been closed to aid deliveries since it was captured by Israeli forces on May 7, an operation that was approved by President Biden. The UN estimates over 800,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah since Israel launched its assault, but hundreds of thousands remain, as it was estimated that 1.4 million civilians were sheltering in the city before the Israeli operation.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) said it was also running out of food for central Gaza and is warning that “humanitarian operations in Gaza are near collapse” and food needs to enter the Strip in “massive quantities” or famine-like conditions will spread.

Only 21 aid trucks have entered Gaza through the $320 million US-built pier. Ten trucks went through on Friday and made it to the WFP, but on Saturday, 11 trucks that came through the pier were raided by hungry Palestinians.

The WFP said Israel needs to provide conditions for aid groups to operate safely, or the US-built pier will fail. “We have raised this issue with the relevant parties and reiterated our request for alternative roads to facilitate aid delivery. Unless we receive the necessary clearance and coordination to use additional routes, this operation may not be successful,” said WFP spokesman Steve Taravella.

President Biden ordered the construction of the pier instead of pressuring Israel to open more border crossings, which is by far the most efficient way to get aid into Gaza. The US claims it’s opposed to Israel’s restrictions on aid deliveries but has not imposed any consequences for the closure of the Rafah crossing and the tightening of the starvation blockade.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.