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Aid workers call for safe passage into Gaza to deliver emergency food supplies

A view of the destruction in Gaza. 10/2023   -  
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Israel Hamas war

Aid workers are warning that food and other essentials are quickly running out in the Gaza strip, due to the siege imposed by Israel following a deadly attack by Hamas militants on October 7.

Mediators are pressing for an agreement to let aid into Gaza via Rafah, which has the Palestinian territory’s only border crossing to Egypt.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has sent emergency food supplies to the Egyptian city of El-Arish and near the Gaza border, to be dispatched as soon as the border opens.

The agency said it has already been providing food and financial assistance in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for 522,000 Palestinians since the start of the latest conflict.

But it warned that current stocks of essential food staples were set to run out soon.

"Any existing stock can’t reach the shops, or the people, because of damaged infrastructure and lack of fuel. The number of bakeries we work with is decreasing by the day. They also don’t have enough water or electricity to produce bread," said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP Country Director for Palestinian Territories.

The war has become the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.

The Gaza Health Ministry said 2,778 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded.

Another 1,200 people across Gaza are believed to be buried under the rubble, alive or dead.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and at least 199 others, including children, were captured by Hamas and taken into Gaza, according to Israel.