Israeli ambassador insists there’s no ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations insisted Sunday that there was not a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza despite the reported shortages of fuel, water and medical supplies in the territory and warnings from international aid groups that the situation in the enclave grows dire by the day.

“I’m not saying that the life in Gaza is great,” Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And, obviously, Hamas is the only one that should be held accountable for any situation in Gaza.  But there is a standard, due to international humanitarian law. What does it mean, a humanitarian crisis? And I’m saying, again, there is no humanitarian crisis, based on the international humanitarian law right now in Gaza.”

Israel has pummeled Gaza with airstrikes in the weeks since militant group Hamas launched a deadly unprecedented attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 Israelis. Israel also cut off access to food, water, fuel and medicine in the days following the attack — a move that many groups and officials have said have led to a humanitarian crisis.

The Gaza Health Ministry said that the Palestinian death toll reached 9,700 as of Sunday, including thousands more injured.

The United States has been pressing Israel to agree to a “humanitarian pause” in its bombings of Gaza to secure the release of the hostages taken by Hamas militants and allow aid to reach Palestinian civilians. Hamas took more than 200 hostages during its initial attack, the majority of which it is still holding.

Erdan said that there is no need for a humanitarian pause in the fighting right now. arguing that aid has been already let in. Aid groups and U.S. officials, including President Biden, however, said the amount of aid that has reached the enclave doesn’t come to close to meeting the population’s needs.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In coordination with the U.S. and the U.N., we allowed the number of trucks entering Gaza now with food and medicines to reach almost 100 trucks every day,” he said.

“So we don’t see the need for humanitarian pauses right now, because it will only enable Hamas to rearm and regroup and prevent us from achieving our goal to destroy Hamas’ terrorist capabilities,” he added.

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