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COGAT refutes claims of north Gaza famine, says int’l organizations requested reduced aid

Israeli government organization says about 100 food trucks per day entered northern Gaza in past few weeks

Aid trucks from Ashdod port via the Erez crossing in northern Gaza, May 6, 2024 (Photo: COGAT)

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced on Sunday evening that they had been asked by international organizations to reduce the volume of goods being transported to the northern Gaza Strip because the quantity was “too high.” 

The statement came via a thread posted to 𝕏 (formerly Twitter) by the government organization which has been coordinating and facilitating aid into Gaza for years. 

“Israel has continuously enhanced its humanitarian efforts to increase aid into Gaza, spearheading initiatives that significantly improve conditions in both northern and southern Gaza, while addressing security concerns related to Hamas,” the statement read. 

According to COGAT, “close to 100 food aid trucks traveled to northern Gaza daily” over the past few weeks. 

COGAT also pushed back against the recent statements by World Food Program Chief Executive Cindy McCain claiming “full-blown famine” in the northern Gaza Strip. 

In an interview with NBC News, the widow of former U.S. Senator John McCain, who was appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden as the American ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture, said, “There is famine – full-blown famine in the north, and it’s moving its way south.” 

COGAT responded in a statement that read: “In talks between Israeli and UN representatives, including WFP, none of the entities indicated a risk of famine in northern Gaza. They noted that the humanitarian situation is improving and that there is a variety of goods in both warehouses and markets in the north.” 

“Noting the improved situation, international organizations stated last week that the volume of goods transported to northern Gaza must be reduced since the quantities are too high in relation to the population,” COGAT claimed. 

The Israeli government organization said that 26 bakeries are currently operational in the Gaza Strip, including four belonging to the World Food Program, and that the total output is around 5 million pitas per day. There are believed to be slightly less than 2 million people in Gaza since the start of the war in Gaza last October. 

“We remain committed to expanding aid efforts for Gaza's civilians while addressing security concerns related to Hamas,” COGAT stated.

There have been several accusations by UN officials and U.S. leaders that Israel is preventing the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, despite COGAT publishing – almost daily – the number of aid trucks that are entering the Strip.

At the end of March, COGAT shared an image on social media of around 400 trucks worth of humanitarian aid sitting on the Gaza side of the Keren Shalom border crossing after being inspected by Israel, and waiting to be picked up by aid organizations. 

COGAT said the UN and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) “lack the logistic capacity for performing their jobs.” They called on the UN to enhance its capacity and “admit its failures.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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