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Israel-Palestine conflict: Relief trucks enter Gaza, $18 million for aid allocated

Humanitarian convoys arrive as Gazans take stock of the damage from 11 days of intense fighting.

Humanitarian convoys arrive as Gazans take stock of the damage from 11 days of intense fighting.

Thirteen truckloads of cargo for UN agencies and their partners entered Gaza Friday and $18 million in aid allocated after the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire went into effect, UN humanitarians said.

The vehicles entered through the commercial Kerem Shalom crossing carrying food, Covid-19 vaccines, medical disposables, and medicine, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. The Erez crossing also opened temporarily for humanitarian officials, Xinhua reported.

The number of people seeking protection in schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA decreased drastically to less than 1,000 from the more than 66,000 people displaced during bombardments, the humanitarians said.

The agency supplied the displaced people with water, sanitary facilities, masks and other protective equipment, to help contain Covid-19, and also used generators to provide electricity during outages.

Undersecretary-General Mark Lowcock, the UN emergency relief coordinator, allocated $18.6 million for rising humanitarian needs in Gaza, including $4.5 million from the United Nation's Central Emergency Response Fund and $14.1 million from country-based pooled funds.

The world organization expects to have a three-month inter-agency flash appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory next week. Substantial financial support is crucial to meet needs, especially in Gaza but also for the West Bank.

Humanitarian needs in Gaza were already high before the latest hostilities because of almost 14 years of the Israeli blockade, internal Palestinian political division and the pandemic, the humanitarians said.

It is crucial the UN Palestinian humanitarian fund, a flexible tool to quickly respond to urgent needs, is replenished, OCHA said.

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