Gaza Aid Declined Significantly in February

The number of aid trucks entering Gaza dropped significantly in February, data shows, even as humanitarian leaders warned of famine and demanded that Israel and others increase aid to civilians trapped in the enclave.

The deaths of dozens of people amid a rush for food aid on Thursday underlined the degree of desperation in the territory.

​​An average of 96 trucks a day entered Gazathrough Feb. 27, a 30 percent drop from the January average and the lowest monthly average since before a cease-fire in late November, according to data from UNRWA, the U.N. aid agency for Gaza.

“It has been stop and go,” said Juliette Touma, a spokeswoman for UNRWA. “It’s been far from regular and far from enough. We should have seen an increase, but there’s been a significant decrease.”

Aid trucks carry food, medicine and other necessities, and while a reduction in the numbers suggests a reduction in overall volume, the measure is not exact. A relatively small quantity of aid has also been dropped by plane to people in Gaza.

The decline reflects, in part, the stringency of inspection measures at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, which has acted as the main gateway since it was reopened in December. Goods also pass into Gaza from Egypt through a crossing at the city of Rafah after undergoing Israeli inspection at a separate site.

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