The United Nations World Food Program said Saturday that the aid organization had lost contact with its aid teams in Gaza amid the ongoing war between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists.
WFP chief Cindy McCain made the announcement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, after communications with the people of Gaza were disrupted.
“The silence is deafening,” McCain wrote. “As the conflict rages, I am extremely concerned for the safety of all aid workers and civilians. We are at a critical point. Humanity must prevail.”
This comes as Israel continues to expand its ground attacks on Gaza after cutting communications with the region. Gazans now find themselves without cellphones or radio service as Israeli forces attack Hamas from the ground, sea and air.
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More than 8,700 people killed in Gaza and Israel by Hamas launched his greatest attack against Israel for decades on October 7, leading to retaliation by Israeli forces. Thousands more were injured and many more were taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered.
McCain said UN food aid has been unable to reach civilians in Gaza due to recent attacks.
“With communications cut in #Gaza, our vital food assistance is at a standstill. We cannot reach staff and partners, nor the people who depend on us,” McCain said in another article on X. “We “We urgently need the capacity to operate and sustainable access to humanitarian assistance. Every minute counts.”
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company’s Starlink satellite internet service would support internationally renowned humanitarian organizations in Gaza, although the timeline for availability of connectivity in the region is unclear given that the Access to the service requires certain technological equipment.
The international community is working to provide civilians in Gaza with humanitarian assistance, including food, water and medical supplies, following violence in the region. This aid which has begun to enter Gaza includes a convoy of 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid provided in the region via the Rafah border post more than a week ago.
Countries around the world have called for additional aid to civilians stranded in Gaza.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Saturday morning he was surprised by Israeli nighttime airstrikes on Gaza.
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“I was encouraged by what seemed to be a growing consensus on the need for at least a humanitarian pause in the Middle East,” he wrote on X. “Unfortunately, I was surprised by an escalation unprecedented bombing, undermining humanitarian objectives.”
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees warned last week that relief operations could be significantly reduced due to Israel’s fuel blockade. The organization said the fuel deliveries are necessary to ensure that the people of Gaza have access to clean water, that hospitals can remain open and that life-saving aid operations can continue.