UN aid chief: ‘We do not have a humanitarian operation in southern Gaza’

Speaking at a news conference, Martin Griffiths says the term “humanitarian operation” cannot be used in Gaza because the pace of the Israeli military assault near the Rafah border crossing with Egypt has prevented a comprehensive aid response.

“What we have at the moment in Gaza… is at best humanitarian opportunism,” he said, “to try to reach through some roads which are still accessible, which haven’t been mined or destroyed, some people who can be found where some food or some water or some other supply can be given.”

“It’s erratic, it’s undependable, and frankly, it’s not sustainable,” he continued.

Griffiths said that aid operations will continue, and there has been some progress in talks to open the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossing to allow for more aid delivery.

But, he said, “What we don’t have is any sense of clarity of planning, is any sense of what’s going to happen tomorrow and to be specific, none of us can see where this will end.”

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey is at the United Nations headquarters for the latest updates.

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