UNRWA: Israel blocking aid shipments sufficient for one million people

Philip Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said on Sunday that Israel had seized an aid shipment equivalent to an entire month's supply at the port of Ashdod, while the Knesset Constitution and Judiciary Committee approved . Draft legislation to halt UNRWA's work in occupied Jerusalem.

Lazzarini said the agency faces increasing administrative obstacles from Israel, and is operating in a hostile environment where decisions have begun to impact its ability to operate.

He reported that one of the contractors providing administrative services in the port of Ashdod informed UNRWA that it could no longer continue working with the agency under orders from Israeli authorities.

As a result, a shipment containing 1,049 containers of supplies from Turkey was stuck at the port, Lazzarini said. This includes: flour, gram, sugar and cooking oil, enough to meet the needs of over a million people for a month.

There has been no comment yet from Turkish authorities regarding the stopping of the aid consignment sent by Israel.

An Israeli Finance Ministry spokesman said the matter was in the hands of the government's legal adviser, without providing further comment.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced last week – via the X platform – that Israel will cancel the tax exemptions it has provided to UNRWA in the past.

For his part, Al Jazeera's correspondent said that the Constitution and Judiciary Committee in the Knesset has approved a draft law to halt UNRWA's work in occupied Jerusalem.

It comes as UNRWA faces Israeli allegations that 12 of its 30,000 staff in the Gaza Strip took part in last October 7 attack, and several countries, following the allegations, cut funding to the agency. Announced, which is making efforts to save lives. In the besieged Gaza Strip, which does not receive adequate amounts of aid.

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