As the Israel-Hamas conflict extends into its 23rd day, the United Nations has issued a dire warning about the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip. Civil order in this conflict-ridden Palestinian territory is showing signs of collapse, with thousands of desperate Gazans resorting to storming UN aid depots in search of basic supplies.
On October 29, 2023, thousands of Gazans broke into aid depots, a development described by the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees as a “worrying sign of civil order starting to break down.” These desperate actions have resulted in the ransacking of several UN warehouses and distribution centers, where wheat, flour, and hygiene supplies were taken in an attempt to meet basic survival needs.
The crisis is compounded by a severe shortage of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza. UN figures reveal that only 84 aid trucks have entered Gaza since the conflict began, a stark contrast to the pre-conflict average of 500 trucks per day. The UN agency highlights the immense needs of the Gaza communities for basic survival and laments the meager and inconsistent aid received.
Gaza also endured a communication blackout that lasted for more than a day. Phone lines and internet connections gradually started returning after the blackout. This blackout was a result of Israel’s intensified bombardment of Gaza, which included a large ground operation involving tanks and troops.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have reported that more troops entered Gaza overnight, and warplanes have attacked over 450 Hamas targets. This escalation of military operations has raised concerns about the impact on the civilian population.
The White House has emphasized the need for Israel to take every possible measure to protect innocent civilians in Gaza by distinguishing between Hamas militants and non-combatant civilians. President Biden has also asserted that a return to the status quo prior to October 6 is not possible. He added that a two-state solution should be the vision for the future once this crisis is over.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has issued a stern warning, stating that Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza could escalate the conflict throughout the region. He suggested that the actions of the Zionist regime have crossed red lines, potentially prompting broader regional responses.
The situation in Gaza is growing increasingly dire as the Israel-Hamas conflict persists. The UN’s concern about the collapse of civil order and the desperate actions of Gazans highlight the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in the region. The international community faces the challenge of ensuring the safety and well-being of civilians while seeking a path toward a lasting resolution.