Iran calls for 'urgent' UN efforts to get aid into Gaza
November 15, 2023 06:46 PM
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on the United Nations Wednesday to do more to get desperately needed aid into war-battered Gaza.
"The amount of humanitarian aid sent to Gaza is very small and almost zero, and it is necessary for the United Nations to take immediate and serious action in this regard," Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting in Geneva with UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths.
Trucks carrying the first delivery of fuel to Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7 crossed from Egypt Wednesday but the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said it was "not at all enough".
Amir-Abdollahian has been in Geneva since Tuesday for talks with UN and other officials on aid deliveries into Gaza, which is ruled by Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Hamas.
In his talks with Griffiths, he called for "strong and urgent management by the UN to remove the blockage at the Rafah border crossing and get humanitarian aid into Gaza".
The Palestinian enclave has endured more than five weeks of Israeli air and ground attack that have killed 11,320 people, mostly civilians, according to its health ministry.
Israel has vowed to crush the territory's Hamas rulers in response to a shock cross-border assault on October 7 that killed an estimated 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw 240 more taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
Israel has laid siege to Gaza and halted all aid deliveries from its territory, leaving the Rafah border crossing from Egypt as the only access point for humanitarian relief for the hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced inside the enclave.
Iran, which supports Hamas financially and militarily, has hailed the group's October 7 attack on Israel but denied any involvement.