Morocco brings much needed aid to Gaza

Morocco brings much needed aid to Gaza
Mark Seddon

The war in Gaza is shortly to enter its ninth month and shows every sign of spreading into southern Lebanon. The United Nations has published and credited third-party estimates of the number of those killed and injured in the war. Those include estimates that more than 34,900 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 1,200 people in Israel in the October 7th attacks by Hamas. By the largest number of civilians killed have been women and children, with countless others unaccounted for under the rubble. Over 86,000 people have been injured, with most hospitals either destroyed or barely functioning. In recent days the EU's foreign policy chief has claimed that starvation is being used as a weapon of war in Gaza by Israel. Italy’s Josep Borrell has described the lack of aid entering the territory as a "manmade" disaster.

As far back as March, there were projections through to July of 2024 that the entire population in the Gaza Strip was classified by the highly respected ‘Integrated Food Security Phase Classification organisation’ (IPC) as Phase 3 – in other words Crisis, or above. 38% of the population was in IPC Phase 4 - Emergency, and 50% was in IPC Phase 5 - Catastrophe, with the risk of famine imminent. According to the UK based charity. Oxfam, the levels of starvation in Gaza were the "highest ever recorded on the IPC scale, both in terms of number of people and percentage of the population". In early March 2024, Gaza met at least two of the three conditions for an IPC-designated famine. Due to the lack of media and humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip, particularly the northern region, the IPC Analysis Team was not able to determine whether the final threshold - a crude death rate above 2 per 10,000 per day - had been met.

All of this needs to be seen in the context of the desperate efforts of the United Nations and its principal agency, UNRWA, who are now claiming that the Israelis are actually trying to close them down in Gaza. Crossing points into Gaza are all controlled by the Israelis who are able to turn the aid tap on to a trickle and then shut it down at a moment’s notice. Countries, such as Morocco, who have been anxious to do their bit to help stave of the starvation of Palestinians, have from time to time managed to see their trucks carrying aid get through. This week the Director of the Al Aqsa Mosque, Omar al-Kiswani expressed gratitude to King Mohammed VI’s Gaza aid announcement of a new Moroccan aid delivery, describing it as a “gesture of generosity.” Al-Kiswani said that the delivery of the aid via the land route is of “paramount importance,” due to problems of humanitarian aid arriving. 

Six trucks carrying critical medical supplies, donated by Morocco, entered into Gaza on Wednesday through the Karem Abu Salem crossing. Getting aid into Gaza via the land crossings is so much more effective than by air drops or via the pontoon bridge built by the United States, which stops functioning when bad weather hits. In any event, however desperately needed aid may be that comes via the US pontoon bridge, many Palestinians would prefer that the US stops supplying the weapons that the Israelis are using to bomb them. And while interventions such as those from Morocco are important and a reminder that the rest of the World wants this war over now, the stark reality is that even before the latest conflict in Gaza, eighty food trucks were trundling across the border each day.  

*Mark Seddon is a former Speechwriter to UN Secretary-General Ban ki moon & former Adviser to the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to MAGHREB INSIDER.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.