US and Israel to boycott UN meet on Gaza blockade, while Gazans rush to Egypt

Border crossings into the Gaza Strip have been closed for a week, stopping shipments of all imports except “emergency supplies”, resulting in shortages of fuel, food, and medicines.

A section of the fence at the Rafah crossing was toppled early this morning, and some 200,000 Gazans crossed into Egypt to get supplies.

From the NYTimes article:

Aid officials had warned earlier this week that Gaza, gripped by fuel and electricity shortages, was two or three days from a health and food crisis.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides assistance to Palestinian refugees and their descendants, announced Monday that it would have to suspend its food aid to 860,000 Gaza residents by Wednesday or Thursday if the crossings from Israel into Gaza were not reopened, because the group was running out of the nylon bags it uses to measure and distribute staples, like flour.

Fuel shortages in Gaza will quickly precipitate a health crisis, since electricity is relied upon for pumping water — power cuts mean disruption in clean water supply. At present, 40% of Gazans lack running water.

In the meantime, the US and Israel are expected to boycott a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on the Gaza blockade. I’m not sure how Israel expects to maintain any moral credibility when claiming it has no partner for a negotiation dialogue when they themselves cut off Palestinian supplies and then refuse to engage in a dialogue regarding the humanitarian situation that the blockade precipitates.

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