Fears for Gazans as Israel forces aid orgs to halt operations by brutally massacring aid workers

News Network
April 4, 2024


Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are wondering how they are going to feed their families as World Central Kitchen (WCK) paused its operations in response to the killing of seven of its aid workers in an Israeli air strike.

Another US charity it works with, Anera, has also suspended work because of the escalating risks faced by its local staff and their families.

Together, they were serving two million meals a week across the Palestinian territory, where the UN has warned that an estimated 1.1 million people - half the population - are facing catastrophic hunger because of Israeli restrictions on aid deliveries, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of order.

WCK's decision to pause its work also led to the "freezing" of a maritime aid corridor from Cyprus, which the charity helped set up last month to increase the trickle of aid getting into the north of Gaza and avert a looming famine.

The WCK convoy was hit on Monday night as it travelled south along the Israeli-designated coastal aid route, just after they had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food from a barge at a warehouse in Deir al-Balah.

That barge was part of a four-vessel flotilla that sailed back to Cyprus with 240 tonnes of supplies that could not be brought ashore in the wake of the strike.

The Norwegian Refugee Council warned that "what happened to World Central Kitchen threatens the entire aid system" and had left it "on the brink".

WCK accused the Israeli military of a "targeted attack" on vehicles clearly marked with the charity's logo and whose movements had been co-ordinated with Israel authorities. The victims were British, Polish, Australian and Palestinian, and also included a dual US-Canadian citizen.

The aid groups say that this was not an isolated incident, with at least 196 Palestinian aid workers already killed since the war began in October.

Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and a former UN humanitarian chief, said that WCK was "among those who have the closest co-operation with the Israelis", in terms of sharing information about their workers' locations and planned movements.

Before the strike, WCK was playing an increasingly prominent and important role in Gaza, with 400 Palestinian staff and 3,000 people working indirectly in its 68 community kitchens and distribution system across the territory.

WCK provided 12% of the 193,000 tonnes of aid from international organisations that had reached Gaza as of Tuesday, according to data from Cogat, the Israeli defence ministry body tasked with co-ordinating deliveries. However, UN agencies were responsible for 80% of the total.

WCK's founder, the chef José Andrés, said on Wednesday that it was "analysing the situation and how to keep doing the work we do".

Anera - which was providing 150,000 meals a day in collaboration with WCK - said it understood the consequences pausing its own work would have on Palestinians, but that its Palestinian staff had for the first time deemed the risk to their safety and that of their families "intolerable".

It said the charity's logistics co-ordinator and his son had been killed in an Israeli air strike in Deir al-Balah in March, despite the fact that the co-ordinates of the shelter where they were staying had been provided to the Israeli military.

"We've asked for explanation as to why that site was struck and we've received none," Derek Madsen of Anera said. "These sites are known and so I think it is very difficult for us to understand how these strikes happen."



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News Network
May 28,2024


The United Nations humanitarian chief has hit out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for claiming that the recent deadly aerial assault in the southern Gaza Strip was a “mistake,” saying the carnage was possibly the “most cruel abomination.”

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths made the remarks on Monday, one day after the Israeli strike hit a camp for displaced Palestinians in the city of Rafah and killed at least 50 people and wounded 200 others.

Terrifying scenes of tents in flames and burned victims, many of whom were women and children, sparked an international outcry. 

However, Netanyahu called the air raid a "tragic mistake" and claimed that Israel was investigating the incident.

“Whether the attack was a war crime or a “tragic mistake,” for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination,” Griffiths said in a statement.

“To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.”

The UN relief chief also pointed to the widespread warnings of a slaughter ahead of Israel's incursion into Rafah, saying, "We've seen the consequences in last night's utterly unacceptable attack."

He further noted that no shelters, hospitals and so-called humanitarian zones are safe in Gaza.

The Rafah carnage came two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its military offensive in Rafah.

The occupying regime began a ground offensive in the overcrowded Palestinian city on May 7, defying calls from the international community, including the United States, not to proceed.

Rafah, situated on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, is home to about a million displaced Palestinians who have fled from the rest of the besieged territory amid a genocidal Israeli war.

EU ministers discuss anti-Israel sanctions

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, meanwhile, said the European Union has for the first time engaged in a “significant” discussion on sanctioning Israel over its Gaza onslaught.

He said the imposition of EU sanctions was discussed as a possible measure to be taken if Israel does not comply with the ICJ’s ruling to halt its attack on Rafah, Irish public broadcaster RTE reported.

“Certainly, if compliance isn’t forthcoming, then we have to consider all options,” he added.

Martin also said that a number of EU foreign ministers had raised the prospect of bans against Israeli officials who were aiding and abetting violent settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Israel unleashed its US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a surprise operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 36,050 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 81,026 others.


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News Network
May 23,2024


Bengaluru: Patients visiting government hospitals in Karnataka recently were shocked when they noticed that some drugs had labels of Animal Husbandry Veterinary Sciences (AHVS) but the department concerned has said it was only a logo related issue and that the medicines were indeed meant for human use.

The Karnataka State Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (KSMSCL) said there was an error in the 'logogram' design, but the product was of standard quality and 'human use only'.

As the typo led to panic among patients, KSMSCL Managing Director Chidananda Sadashiva Vatare said in a statement that the product permission copies were submitted and confirmed they were permitted to manufacture as per required medical standards and for human use only.

According to sources in KSMSCL, there were seven drugs which had the AHVS label. This included eye and nasal drops.

These drugs were supplied by a private firm with a total value of Rs 62.9 lakh and it reached the government warehouse on January 5, this year.

The drugs were Methyl Prednisolone injection, Carboxymethylcellulose Eye Drops, Oxymetazoline Pediatric (Nasal) Drops, Flurbiprofen Eye Drops IP, Sodium Chloride (Nasal) Drops, Timolol Maleate Drops and Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride (Nasal) Solution IP.

"The analytical test reports from NABL/government approved laboratories and in-house test reports of the products opined as the products referred above are of standard quality. The test reports from the private empanelled laboratories of KSMSCL have reported these products are of standard quality," Vatare said.

The products were supplied to all the warehouses in the state by the supplier by January 5, he said, adding the supplier requested KSMSCL on January 18 to accept the supplied products by masking the typo.

"It is to be noted that no changes were done in the label of the product information provided. Also, the logogram design was correct in one part of the product and only in another part was there a printing error in the logogram design which was masked, where instead of Health department it was typed as AHVS department."

"The supplier was also imposed a fine of one per cent on the purchase order value and all warehouses were instructed to distribute the products only after masking the error. The supplier was also warned not to repeat the mistake," he said.


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News Network
May 27,2024


The death toll from the Israeli regime’s airstrikes against a designated safe zone for displaced people in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip has risen to at least 50 people.

ActionAid UK, the British chapter of an international relief organization, reported the fatalities on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Israeli warplanes fired eight missiles toward makeshift shelters housing internally-displaced persons in the city’s northwest.

“These shelters were supposed to be safe havens for innocent civilians, yet they became targets of brutal violence,” the organization said.

“Children, women, and men are being burned alive under their tents and shelters,” it noted, warning that the number of fatalities could rise.

Reacting to the massacre, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas called it an “egregious affront” to a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice, which ordered the Israeli regime to “immediately” halt its offensive against Rafah.

The movement called on all parties, especially Egypt, to pressure the regime into ending its occupation of the city’s Rafah crossing, which borders the country and serves as the main point of entry for vital supplies into Gaza.

Hamas also urged the international community, the United Nations, and all concerned parties to scramble to support the Palestinian nation in the face of the Israeli massacre, which has been seeking to bring about the mass exodus of the Palestinian people and destroy their national cause for the past seven months.

It was referring to an October-present genocidal war that the regime has been waging against Gaza in response to a retaliatory operation by the territory’s resistance movements.

The war has so far claimed the lives of around 36,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza.

Hamas called on the world’s Muslim and Arab peoples to step up their anti-Israeli activism in the face of the genocide.

Israel must face sanctions: UN

Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, meanwhile, reacted to the “horror” created by the Israeli regime in Rafah, calling for pressure on Tel Aviv.

“The Gaza genocide will not easily end without external pressure: Israel must face sanctions, justice, suspension of agreements, trade, partnership and investments, as well as participation in international forums.”

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the world body’s special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, also denounced the bloodletting, saying, “Attacking women and children while they cower in their shelters in Rafah is a monstrous atrocity.” 

“We need concerted global action to stop Israel’s actions now,” he added.

The Israeli massacre in Rafah was also followed by mass protest rallies across the West Bank, including in the city of Ramallah and the town of Anabta, which is located to the east of the city of Tulkarm in the northern part of the occupied territory.

The Emirati Hospital in Rafah also condemned the Israeli attacks on Rafah as “a heinous massacre.”

Similar demonstrations also erupted elsewhere throughout the region, including at the Baqa’a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan and in front of the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

In Iraq, enraged people stormed the KFC’s branch in the capital Baghdad, inflicting damage on the restaurant in protest at the United States’ ongoing support for the Israeli regime’s war on Gaza.


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