An Israeli military official on Thursday denied the dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, as a conference to secure aid for the besieged Palestinian territory opened in Paris.
“We know the civil situation in the Gaza Strip is not an easy one,” said Colonel Moshe Tetro, head of coordination and liaison at COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body handling civil affairs in Gaza.
“But I can say that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip,” he told reporters at the Nitzana border post between Israel and Egypt.
Fighting has raged since gunmen from the Islamist group Hamas poured over the Gaza border with Israel on October 7, taking about 240 hostages and leaving more than 1,400 dead, according to Israeli officials.
Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel retaliated with an aerial bombing and ground offensive that the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip says has killed more than 10,800 people, many of them children.
Since October 9, when Israel placed the territory under a “total siege”, only very limited quantities of basic human necessities including water, food and medicine have been allowed into Gaza.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said “the world is witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe taking place before our eyes.”
Tetro showed the press where the Israeli military inspected aid entering Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah crossing, saying they helped facilitate the delivery of “water, food, medical supplies and humanitarian aid for shelters”.
“If we see that Hamas is using the humanitarian aid (that arrives in Gaza), we will stop it,” warned Tetro, whose country subjected Gaza, before the recent hostilities, to a strict 16-year blockade after Hamas came to power.
The official said more than 700 trucks have been authorised by Israel to pass from Egypt since October 21, a figure corroborated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OCHA said 500 trucks crossed everyday into the Palestinian territory prior to the onset of the war, during Israel’s strict 16-year-old blockade.
Tetro’s remarks came as French President Emmanuel Macron opened a conference on aid to Gaza in Paris on Thursday.
Macron called for a swift “humanitarian pause” in the Palestinian territory and urged the international community to work “towards a ceasefire”
As the fighting continues, the humanitarian situation “is worsening more and more each day,” Macron said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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