This morning an Israeli spokerman, Col.Elad Goren, from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, insisted there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that there was plently of food and water.
“I can say clearly that we are not remotely close to approaching the minimum levels that we are obligated under international law,” he said.
On food, he said there were supplies inside Gaza “for weeks to come”.
Water, he admitted was not at pre-war levels but was sufficient for humanitarian needs. Israel is supplying water through two lines, providing 28 million litres a day.
“Twenty-eight million litres for a population of 1.6 million, it’s more than enough,” he said, referring to the current estimated population of the southern Gaza Strip.
Col Goren said medical supplies were still sufficient and said that “all essential facilities”, including hospitals, still had access to power, including via solar panels.
He was asked by a BBC journalist whether there were any real safe areas in the south of the Gaza Strip.
He indicated that only al-Mawasi, an area of relatively open ground west of Khan Younis, could be considered properly safe.
Al-Mawasi is where Israel has been telling civilians to go to get access to humanitarian assistance. In other words, nowhere else in the south can actually be considered safe.
“Wherever Hamas will be, we will attack them,” Col Goren said. “That is our position.”
Meanwhile, yesterday U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urgently appealed for a humanitarian cease-fire for Gaza, which he said is becoming a “graveyard” for hundreds of Palestinian children each day, as the Security Council remained deadlocked on any action.
“The way forward is clear,” he told reporters at the United Nations. “A humanitarian cease-fire. Now.”
He said all parties must also respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and that no party to an armed conflict is above it.
“This means the unconditional release of the hostages in Gaza – now,” he said of the 240 men, women and children Hamas abducted during their October 7th terror attack inside Israel.
“I will never relent in working for their immediate release,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would consider short-term pauses in military operations to allow for humanitarian goods to reach the Gaza Strip or for hostages held by Hamas militants to leave, but he ruled out a general cease-fire in Israel’s month-old war with Hamas.
Speaking to ABC News, Netanyahu said he envisions Israel will “have the overall security responsibility” in Gaza for an indefinite period after achieving its goal of routing Hamas.
“When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine,” Netanyahu said.
The White House said Monday that President Joe Biden and Netanyahu discussed in a phone call the possibility for tactical pauses to allow civilians in Gaza to safely depart from areas of ongoing fighting, to ensure assistance is reaching civilians in need, and how to enable potential hostage releases.
Sources: BBC, VOA.