WASHINGTON: Parachuting aid into the Gaza Strip is a “last resort,“ a UN official said on Monday but stressed that it would be logistically “very challenging.”
“Parachuting is always the last resort in terms if you ask any logistical colleagues because it’s very, very expensive and not sustainable,“ Anadolu Agency reported Andrea De Domenico, head of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory said at a news briefing.
De Domenico said that there are ways to bring in assistance if the parties agree on unimpeded and continuous access.
His remarks came after Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the EU and the UN to parachute aid into the Gaza Strip.
“So I think it is the first entry points should be insisting in opening the crossings and making sure that sustained supplies goes in rather than thinking of extreme scenarios.
“I know that the Jordanians did already a launch with aid through aircraft. But of course as you can imagine the quantities are limited and as I said is really logistically very, very challenging,“ De Domenico added.
Turning to the intensified fighting around Al-Shifa hospital over the weekend, he said infrastructure, including water tanks, oxygen stations, the cardiovascular facility, and the maternity ward, were damaged.
“We call everybody to respect hospitals… Hospitals must not be made places of warfare. Any military operation around or within hospital must take steps to spare and protect the patients, medical staff and other civilians.
“And all feasible precautions must be taken, including the effective warnings which consider the ability of patients, medical staff and other civilians to evacuate safely,“ he stressed.
De Domenico said that there are “simply no options” to relocate the patients in safety in any place in Gaza, according to the report.
The official also warned that the lives in Gaza are “hanging by a thread” due to depleting fuel and medical supplies.
Meanwhile, he estimated that as of Sunday, 230,000 people might have moved to the southern part of Gaza.
As the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip entered its 38th day, at least 11,180 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,700 children and women, and more than 28,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave since last month.-Bernama