The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) called on Sunday for the creation of humanitarian corridors to bring food into Gaza as Israeli air strikes pounded the Palestinian enclave following deadly Hamas attacks.
“As the conflict intensifies, civilians, including vulnerable children and families, face mounting challenges in accessing essential food supplies,” the Rome-based WFP said.
“WFP urges safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to affected areas, calling on all parties to uphold the principles of humanitarian law … including ensuring access to food.”
The U.N. agency provides direct food assistance to some 350,000 Palestinians monthly, while also offering aid to nearly 1 million Palestinians in cooperation with other humanitarian partners via cash transfers.
WFP said it was ready to set up pre-positioned food stocks for people who had been displaced or were in shelters.
“While most shops in the affected areas in Palestine currently maintain one month of food stocks, these risk being depleted swiftly as people buy up food in fear of a prolonged conflict,” it said.
Israeli aircraft battered Gaza on Sunday after Israel suffered its bloodiest attack in decades, when Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns killing 600 and abducting dozens more.
The Israeli military said it had deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around Gaza, a narrow strip that is home to 2.3 million Palestinians, amid widespread speculation of an imminent, large-scale Israeli incursion into the territory.