By Cecilia Ologunagba
United Nations (UN) Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has said that a new aid convoy entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing comprises 20 trucks according to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
Dujarric disclosed this while briefing reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Monday.
He said that was equivalent to just four per cent of the pre-crisis level of daily needs, for commodities for Gaza’s population of more than two million.
This was the third such delivery after the crossing opened on Saturday for the first time since the start of the conflict, following intense diplomatic efforts.
A total of 34 trucks with aid provided by the UN and the Egyptian Red Crescent entered the enclave over the weekend. The UN has stressed that to respond to soaring humanitarian needs, at least 100 aid trucks per day are required.
The development comes as (UNRWA) warned on Sunday that it was set to run out of fuel within three days, putting the humanitarian response in Gaza at risk.
UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said that without fuel, “there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries” and that “no fuel will further strangle the children, women and people of Gaza”.
Meanwhile, OCHA said that more than 625,000 children in Gaza had been deprived of education for at least 12 days, and 206 schools have been damaged.
At least 29 of them are UNRWA-run establishments.
UNRWA reported on Sunday that 29 of its staff members have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7 – half of them teachers.
In the occupied West Bank, the escalation has also resulted in restrictions on the access to education.
OCHA said that all the schools inside the territory were closed from 7 to 9 October, affecting some 782,000 students.
As of last week, more than 230 schools which cater to some 50,000 students had not reopened.
The Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly has confirmed that the 10th Emergency Special Session on Israel and Palestine will reconvene on Thursday.
The session is officially titled: Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Special sessions are convened allowing the UN’s entire membership to make recommendations for collective measures during times of intractable crisis – if requested by either the Security Council (seven of its members or more) or a majority of the General Assembly.
The Tenth Emergency Session was last adjourned in 2018.
Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Volker Türk has said that a broad humanitarian ceasefire is essential for both Gaza and Israel.
“Far too many civilian lives, many of them children, have already been lost – on both sides – as a consequence of these hostilities.
“And, unless something changes, coming days will see more civilians on the brink of death from continuing bombardment. Humanity must come first,” the High Commissioner said.
Noting the Gaza Strip is already on the verge of catastrophe, he said the reports of overcrowding and disease spreading, “are deeply worrying”.
“This violence will never end unless leaders stand up and take the brave and humane choices that are required by fundamental humanity.
“The first step must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, saving the lives of civilians through the delivery of prompt and effective humanitarian aid, throughout Gaza, provided according to need and not limited by any other, arbitrary criteria,” he added. (NAN)