The UN said Gazans were breaking into aid centers and taking flour and supplies

JERUSALEM, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Thousands of Gaza residents have seized flour and “basic survival items” inside warehouses and distribution centers of the United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA), the agency said on Sunday.

“This is a worrying sign of the breakdown of civil order after three weeks of war and the tightening siege on Gaza,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a statement.

One of the warehouses, located in Deir al-Bala, stores supplies from UNRWA humanitarian convoys from Egypt into Gaza.

Aid to Gaza has been frozen since Israel began bombing the densely populated Palestinian enclave on October 7 in response to a deadly attack by its ruling militant group Hamas.

“Humanitarian aid arriving in Gaza in trucks from Egypt is out of stock while the market is depleted,” UNRWA said, adding that the current system for transporting humanitarian convoys into Gaza was “poised to fail”.

“The needs of communities are enormous, just for basic survival, but the aid we receive is meager and inconsistent.”

UNRWA’s ability to help people in Gaza has been hampered by airstrikes that have killed more than 50 staff and restricted the movement of goods.

Even before the conflict, the organization said its mandate was being undermined by a lack of funding.

Established in 1949 following the First Arab-Israeli War, UNRWA provides public services including schools, primary health care and humanitarian assistance in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

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Report by John Davison in Jerusalem and Gabriel Tetrault-Farber in Geneva; Editing by Alison Williams and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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