The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said there are “logistical limitations” to getting aid into Gaza and has urged the “international community to find additional solutions” as world bodies warn of a spiraling humanitarian crisis in the region.
“Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza. We are sending aid into Gaza, to the people of Gaza. We are not an obstacle,” IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari insisted in a video statement on Wednesday.
“On the contrary. We check more aid trucks than enter Gaza,” Hagari said. “There are logistical limitations and challenges with the ability of international organizations to deliver aid. That is why we urge the international community to find additional solutions for aid delivery, in addition to establishing field hospitals and temporary shelters for Gazans.”
World Health Organization officials visited several hospitals across Gaza on Monday and described “harrowing accounts” of suffering shared by health workers and patients as the conflict unfolds.
Food and sanitation crises have also engulfed the enclave Humanitarian workers struggle to get enough resources For displaced Gazans.
Hagari reiterated in his video statement that “the only way is to defeat Hamas” after Israeli officials warned that the war would continue for months.
“We will continue our important work of defeating Hamas and rescuing our hostages. We are committed to freeing our hostages from Hamas and freeing Gaza from Hamas for a better future for the region,” Hagari said.
Tensions between Israel and the UN: The IDF spokesman's comments came after Israel announced it would stop automatically issuing visas to United Nations staff, saying instead that the country would process applications on a case-by-case basis.
Characterizing the announcement as “an update on the United Nations' deeply complicated involvement in this conflict,” Israeli government spokesman Eilon Levy noted that the UN had failed to condemn Hamas for smuggling aid and waging war outside hospitals.