The UN has suspended food distribution in Rafah, southern Gaza, as Israel continues to block the entry of aid into Gaza and intensifies attacks attacks within the enclave. Despite efforts to provide aid via the floating pier set up by the US for sea deliveries, no aid trucks have entered Gaza in the past two days. The US$320 million pier project was aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid deliveries but faces the risk of failure unless Israel ensures safe operating conditions for humanitarian groups.

About 569 tonnes of humanitarian assistance remains undistributed at the US-built pier in Gaza. The Pentagon confirms that none of this aid has reached the starving Palestinians.

Several hundred thousand people remain in Rafah despite the ongoing Israeli military assault since 6 May. Relief agencies report that food aid deliveries have been reduced to a trickle.

Abeer Etefa from the World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that the organisation has also ceased distribution in Rafah after exhausting existing stocks. While WFP continues to provide hot meals and limited food parcels in central Gaza, stocks are rapidly dwindling. Plus, the organisation’s ability to sustain operations is uncertain.

Initially, the delivery operation showed promise, with the successful arrival of the first 10 trucks at a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse on Friday. However, the situation quickly deteriorated on Saturday, as extremist Jewish settlers disrupted deliveries, resulting in only 5 of 11 trucks reaching their intended destination. Subsequent security issues forced the suspension of deliveries on Sunday and Monday.

Etefa stressed the importance of maintaining a consistent flow of aid to prevent supply looting and ensure that assistance reaches those most in need. She emphasised that the responsibility for ensuring aid distribution extends throughout Gaza, not just at entry points.

In response to the challenges faced, the United Nations agency is re-evaluating logistics and security measures while seeking alternate routes within Gaza to facilitate aid deliveries. The WFP is collaborating with the US Agency for International Development to coordinate food delivery from the new US route, aiming to overcome logistical hurdles and ensure the timely provision of aid to vulnerable populations.

The United Nations reported that 1.1 million people, nearly half the population, face catastrophic hunger. The humanitarian supply crisis has intensified since Israel’s incursion into Rafah on 6 May. The closure of the Rafah crossing into Egypt by Israeli troops further compounds the plight of civilians, cutting off vital routes for humanitarian assistance and isolating Gaza from the outside world. Israeli officials continue claim that there are no restrictions on aid through crossings.

The intensity of the attacks has prompted the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to suspend humanitarian food assistance distribution in Rafah.

As of 10 May, only about three dozen trucks have entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 200 people, including patients, relatives, and medical workers, have been trapped in al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia, northern Gaza, since Sunday. Israeli snipers have been targeting the building, and a rocket struck the fifth floor of the hospital.

Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya also under fire from Israeli military forces. Staff and displaced Palestinians were forced to flee the hospital.

Israeli forces have launched an assault on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza using artillery fire, sniper attacks, and devastating tank and air bombardments.

Meanwhile, Israeli military has killed eight people in raids in the occupied West Bank. The raid on the Jenin refugee camp injured at least 21 others. Among the victims are a Palestinian teacher, a doctor, and two teenagers aged 15 and 16. Eyewitnesses report that Israeli forces fired indiscriminately, targeting any moving body in the street.

In the Tal as-Sultan neighbourhood of western Rafah, an Israeli airstrike on a house has left several people dead. Similar attacks have been reported in the Zawaida neighbourhood of central Gaza, where at least 10 people have been killed.

UNRWA has only seven of its 24 health centres operational. No medical supplies have been received in the past 10 days due to Israel’s closure of Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings, along with other disruptions.

The Health Ministry announced that Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 85 people and wounded 200 others in the previous 24 hours alone. Since 7 October, Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed at least 35,647 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded 79,852 others.