Israel at War

WHO cancels humanitarian aid missions to Gaza citing security concerns

The cancellations were due to rejected requests for access, including for one mission planned for Wednesday.

Palestinians loot a humanitarian aid truck as it crossed into the Gaza Strip in Rafah.
Palestinians loot a humanitarian aid truck as it crosses into the Gaza Strip in Rafah.
Fatima Shbair / AP
SMS

The World Health Organization canceled its sixth planned humanitarian aid mission to Gaza on Wednesday, citing ongoing security concerns.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the United Nations health agency had to cancel six scheduled missions to the northern parts of the embattled enclave since Dec. 26.

The cancellations were due to rejected requests for access, including for one mission planned for Wednesday.

"Intense bombardment, restrictions on movement, fuel shortage and interrupted communications make it impossible for WHO and our partners to reach those in need," Tedros said during a press conference on Wednesday. "We call on Israel to approve requests by WHO and other partners to deliver humanitarian aid."

He noted that the situation in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, which governs Gaza, was "indescribable," with nearly 90% of Gaza's population displaced from their homes, and that this assistance is urgently needed.

Tedros emphasized that despite continuous calls for a ceasefire, even if that doesn't happen, "corridors can be established to allow the safe passage of humanitarian aid and workers."

According to the UN, only 15 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are working partially, and overall, the UN and its health partners have helped around 500,000 people with health care and medical services.

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