Attack on Workers Immediately Worsened the Aid Situation in Gaza

Another aid group, American Near East Refugee Aid, or Anera, which said it had operated in the Palestinian territories for more than 55 years, also announced that it was suspending its work in Gaza. But groups that are continuing to work there, including the World Food Program and UNRWA, the main U.N. agency that supports Palestinians, have long said that they face unacceptable hurdles in delivering aid, including Israeli restrictions on deliveries and lawlessness in northern Gaza.

“Our staff have guided our work, and they, themselves, feel like there’s a target on their backs,” Sandra Rasheed, Anera’s country director in Gaza and the West Bank, told the Al Jazeera network.

Michael Capponi, the founder of Global Empowerment Mission, a nonprofit aid group, said he was reconsidering his plans to travel to Gaza next week. Some staff members “basically want to pack up and go home now,” he said.

In recent weeks, the United States, other countries and aid groups have increased pressure on Israel to allow more aid to enter Gaza, a territory of more than two million people. Israel, which announced a siege of Gaza at the start of the war, says it places no limits on the amount of aid that can go into the territory, but wants to prevent food or other supplies from falling into the hands of Hamas.

Countries including the United States, France, Jordan and Egypt have increased their use of airdrops to get aid into Gaza, and the World Central Kitchen ships were part of a multinational plan to create a maritime route that would deliver aid from Cyprus. As part of the effort to increase maritime shipments, the United States military is building a temporary pier on Gaza’s coast, but that will take weeks.

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