Israeli army declares “tactical pause” in southern Gaza – DW – 06/16/2024

The Israeli army announced this Sunday (06/16/2024) that it will implement a daily “tactical pause of military activity” in parts of the southern Gaza Strip during daylight hours to facilitate aid deliveries.

In a statement, the army said that “a local tactical pause of military activity for humanitarian purposes will be carried out daily from 08:00 to 19:00 until further notice on the road leading from the crossing at Kerem Shalom to Salah al-Din. The military will also halt the military activity along the road and then head north.”

The army said the decision was made after discussions with the United Nations and other organisations as part of an effort to “increase the amount of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip”.

Israel has defended its efforts to facilitate aid deliveries, including through the Kerem Shalom crossing, but humanitarian groups have warned of severe shortages of food and other essential goods in the besieged region.

Pressure on Israel

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that more than 8,000 children under the age of five in Gaza have been treated for acute malnutrition.

International mediators have pressed Israel and Hamas, considered a terrorist group by many countries, to accept a cease-fire deal presented by US President Joe Biden to allow a swap of hostages for prisoners and increase aid deliveries, but talks have stalled.

The deputy executive director of the World Food Programme, Karl Schau, said that with “the chaos (…) and active conflict in the Strip,” it has become “virtually impossible” to provide a level of aid that meets the growing demands in the country”.


Hunger in Gaza has reached catastrophic levels

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