Photo Credit: Reuters YouTube screenshot
Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy Division at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, appears before the UN Security Council, May 20, 2024.

Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy Division at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Monday that the situation in Gaza was a catastrophe, a nightmare, and hell on earth. “To be frank, we are running out of words to describe what is happening” in the Strip, she told the UN Security Council, noting that living conditions continue to deteriorate, particularly in Jabalaya and eastern Rafah, and the number of casualties continues to increase.

Humanitarian aid destined for Gaza civilians is accumulating in Egypt due to the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing, and no supplies have been delivered to a UN warehouse from a US-constructed pier for the past two days, creating a bottleneck of food and medicine intended for the besieged Gaza Strip. And on May 5, after Hamas launched mortars and rockets at IDF soldiers massed on the Israeli side of the Karem Shalom crossing, killing four and wounding 10 of them, Israel was forced to close down the crossing for three days.


But Wosornu knows of only one culprit causing this catastrophe, and it ain’t Egypt or Hamas. Here is how she ignores the Egyptians’ responsibility for the starvation of Gaza civilians:

“As of May 17, the Rafah crossing remains inaccessible for humanitarian cargo, fuel and personnel movement,” she told the UNSC. “Around 82,000 metric tons of supplies are stranded on the Egypt side of the crossing with food spoiling and medicines expiring. Fuel shortages, meanwhile, impact the functioning of bakeries, hospitals, water wells, and other critical infrastructure.”

But why, you might ask, are those tons of humanitarian aid piling up? Who shut the Rafah crossing? Edem Wosornu has no idea, other than to point out the closure resulted from the Israeli attack on Rafah. Or, as Reuters put it on Tuesday morning, “Senior UN aid official Edem Wosornu said there were insufficient supplies and fuel to provide any meaningful level of support to the people of Gaza as they endure Israel’s military onslaught against Hamas militants.”

And what’s Hamas’s role in all this? According to Wosornu, “The crossing at Kerem Shalom is extremely difficult for aid organizations to access from the Gaza side due to hostilities, challenging logistical conditions, and complex coordination procedures.”

It’s the hostilities, see? It’s Israel’s military onslaught.

No one wants Gaza civilians to starve or be deprived of medicine and medical care. But would it kill the UN to recognize that Egypt has been holding up those shipments and issue a resolution calling on Cairo to open the gates?

According to Reuters, “Egypt said on Monday that the crossing is closed due to the threat posed to aid work by Israel’s military operation.”

But what Egypt is afraid of is not Israeli attacks on anyone, but a surge of Gazans running into Egyptian territory in search of a new, better life in the West. And this is an option neither Egypt nor Hamas nor the UN are prepared to let them choose.


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