In the face of intense Israeli attacks, not enough aid has reached the area, forcing Palestinians into ‘survival mode’.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening after more than two months of Israeli bombardment and forced displacement of people south of the enclave.
On Sunday, hungry and desperate Palestinians were seen jumping on aid trucks to get food and other supplies, in Gaza’s Rafah area near the border with Egypt.
Palestinians surrounded aid trucks after they entered through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, forcing some to stop before boarding, pulling down crates of food and water and taking them away or sending them to crowds below.
Some trucks are guarded by masked men carrying sticks.
“The humanitarian situation is desperate, not only for the residents of Rafah city, but also for the one million displaced Palestinians here, who are starving, thirsty and traumatized as the war escalates,” said Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud. .
Mahmoud said the amount of aid allowed into the strip was insufficient and forced Palestinians into “survival mode”.
“People are left with nothing – without housing, without food, without water and without medical supplies,” he said.
“So the Rafa crossing scenes are a natural reflection: when people starve to death, when they’re hungry, this is what we see happening.”
‘Desperate for food’
The United Nations warned this week that people in Gaza are “starving for food” as they stop aid trucks and immediately eat what they find.
Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, who recently visited the area, said the residents, who had suffered long and hard under the Israeli siege, had “never experienced” such hunger.
“I saw with my own eyes that people in Rafah decided to help themselves directly from the truck out of desperation and ate what they took from the truck on the spot,” Lazzarini said Thursday.
On the same day, the UN Carl Skau, Vice President of the World Food Program (WFP), said that nearly half of the people in Gaza are starving and do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million are at risk of starvation, the WFP said.
Drone footage from southern Gaza on Sunday showed Gaza Emergency Relief volunteers preparing a giant bomb.
Aid supplies crossing Gaza through Rafah, the only entry point on the Egyptian border, are a fraction of pre-conflict levels, despite increased needs.
As truck inspections are delayed, aid arriving through the border crossing is delayed in delivering what is needed to the people of the Gaza Strip.
Rafah is sheltering more than 12,000 people per square kilometer, 85 percent of the population displaced across Gaza since the attacks began on October 7.
That day, Hamas launched a surprise incursion into Israeli territory, killing approximately 1,140 people and taking 240 prisoners.
Israel’s bombing killed 18,787 people and injured another 50,897, with thousands believed to be buried under the rubble.
Despite thousands of people staying at the crossing, Rafah continues to be the target of Israeli airstrikes.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud said a large explosion occurred overnight in Rafah’s Jenina district, killing two people and targeting and destroying residential homes.
“Many injured have been brought to Kuwait Hospital,” he said. We are talking about more than 50 injured.