What humanitarian aid items has Israel barred from entering Gaza?

What humanitarian aid items has Israel barred from entering Gaza?
Israeli authorities have denied or restricted dozens of items from entering Gaza, including anaesthetic, hygiene kits, maternity kits and chocolate croissants.
3 min read
15 April, 2024
Around 1.1 million Palestinians are experiencing catastrophic levels of food insecurity [Getty]

Israeli authorities are banning dozens of essential items from entering Gaza as starvation spreads and the enclave is plunged into a deep humanitarian crisis.

Since the start of Israel's war on Gaza on 7 October, authorities have denied or heavily restricted many life-saving items from entering the besieged enclave, further worsening conditions.

Israel’s ongoing bombardment has killed so far over 33,700 Palestinians in Gaza alone, collapsed the healthcare system and caused mass displacement.

The UN has warned that famine was imminent in northern Gaza and could occur at any point in the coming month.  Around 1.1 million people are starving, with Oxfam accusing Israel of deliberately blocking and undermining the humanitarian response in Gaza.

According to a report by the Washington Post, UN agencies and aid organisations must submit requests for items they think may be rejected, including communications equipment.

Speaking to 25 different aid groups, they found that Israeli authorities have been inconsistent in the items they reject and approve, while some requests remain in limbo.

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Some of the items the UN and other aid organisations say have been blocked from entering Gaza at least once since 7 October include animal feed, chemical water quality testing kits, crutches, anaesthetic, chocolate croissants, maternity kits, obstetric clamps and oxygen concentrations.

Other items include necessary equipment to help keep hospitals and makeshift medical facilities afloat, including oxygen cylinders, solar panels, power supply equipment, sleeping bags, surgical tools for doctors, ultrasound equipment, ventilators, wheelchairs and x-ray machines.

At the border inspection sites, if one item is rejected, the entire truck of aid is sent back, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Jamie McGoldrick said.

The banning and rejecting of items comes as the UN confirmed that 41 percent of its coordinated aid missions, between April 6 and 12, were prevented or banned from reaching north Gaza.

The statement, made by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Sunday echoes previous statements from UN chief Antonio Guterres, who said the only effective way to deliver aid to meet the needs is by road.

Last month during a visit to Egypt, he warned of the dire impact of Israel’s onslaught.

“The daily assault on the human dignity of Palestinians is creating a crisis of credibility for the international community,” he said.

“Looking at Gaza, it almost appears that the four horsemen of war, famine, conquest and death are galloping across it,”  he added.

Last week, a senior US humanitarian official said that fine was already occulting in parts of Gaza.

US Agency for International Development (USAID) chief Samantha Power's admission came on Wednesday when she was questioned by a Democratic congressman about a leaked USAID cable which said that famine was likely already happening in parts of Gaza.

Power said it was "credible" that famine is already occurring in parts of Gaza in line with an Integrated Food Classification (IPC) assessment from mid-March which determined that famine was 'imminent' in the northern governorates and could occur by May.