While many demonstrated against the violence, others wanted to draw attention to the growing humanitarian crisis which is unfolding in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s blockade, imposed in June last year, had already made many basic necessities scarce for hundreds of thousands of people. International humanitarian agencies have been calling on Israel to allow in food, medical supplies and fuel, but some say they’re fighting a losing battle.
Christopher Gunness from UNRWA in Jerusalem said: “It is virtually impossible to run or to do large scale planning for such a humanitarian operation. We feed more than 750,000 people in Gaza. The World Food Programme feeds over 200,000 people in Gaza. We do cash distributions to 94,000 people. To conduct an aid operation of this scale, given the drip drip drip, on and off policy of supplies into Gaza, it’s become virtually impossible.” The Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak has authorised more than 100 trucks to take food, fuel and medical supplies to Gaza, in response to growing calls from the aid agencies. The International Red Cross has expressed its extreme concern over the growing number of casualties, and the pressure that is putting on hospitals there.