Israel must open ports to allow urgent aid to travel to Gaza, Lord Cameron urges, as UN says 250,000 are starving

12 March 2024, 20:49

Israel must open its ports and grant more visas to UN workers so urgent humanitarian aid can be distributed throughout Gaza, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has urged
Israel must open its ports and grant more visas to UN workers so urgent humanitarian aid can be distributed throughout Gaza, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has urged. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Israel must open its ports and grant more visas to UN workers so urgent humanitarian aid can be distributed throughout Gaza, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has urged.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Speaking in Parliament, the former Conservative prime minister said the sharing of vital humanitarian assistance within the wartorn enclave as "one of the trickiest pieces of the jigsaw".

He said Israel must open one of its ports so emergency supplies arriving by sea can get through to the besieged territory, five months after Israel initiated retaliatory strikes on Gaza following Hamas' October 7 attacks.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began and has driven some 80 per cent of Gaza's 2.3 million people from their homes. The UN says a quarter of the population is starving.

Hamas' surprise onslaught that sparked the conflict killed around 1,200 people and a further 250 people were taken hostage.

Displaced Palestinians wait for food in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024
Displaced Palestinians wait for food in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Palestinians in Gaza begin Ramadan with hunger worsening and no end in sight

Read More: Israel 'blocking aid getting into Gaza', Tory foreign affairs committee chief claims, as food begins to run out

Responding to a question at Westminster on aid to Gaza, Lord Cameron said: "We have been collaborating with Jordan on humanitarian airdrops and are now working with partners to operationalise a maritime aid corridor from Cyprus.

"However, this cannot substitute delivery by land, which remains the best way to get aid in at the scale needed.

"Israel must open more land routes, including in the north, for longer and with fewer screening requirements."

He contiued: "I have been clear. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to increase aid into Gaza and get the hostages out. Israel must remove restrictions on aid and restore electricity, water and telecommunications."

Lord Cameron said if "Israel really wanted to help", they should open the fully functioning Ashdod port that would allow aid to enter through into Gaza.

On the distribution of aid in Gaza, he said: "This is one of the trickiest pieces of the jigsaw. One of the things Israel needs to do is give out more visas to UN workers, who are capable of distributing the aid when it arrives into Gaza."

"Getting more aid into Gaza requires the work of more than just Israel taking the relevant steps, but Israel is the country that could, I think, make the greatest difference because some of the blockages and the screening problems and all the rest of it are their responsibility."

Palestinians line up for food, January 27, 2024, as international relief agencies say Gaza is suffering from shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies
Palestinians line up for food, January 27, 2024, as international relief agencies say Gaza is suffering from shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Israel 'blocking aid getting into Gaza', Tory foreign affairs committee chief claims, as food begins to run out

Read More: Israel agrees to change controversial October Rain lyrics ahead of Eurovision 2024

It comes after the head of the UK's foreign affairs committee said Israel was blocking aid getting into Gaza, amid a "grave" humanitarian crisis in the territory.

Alicia Kearns, who has recently returned from Gaza, said that Israel could open more crossings into the territory to let more aid through.

The US announced a new pier in the Mediterranean to help get aid directly into Gaza, which the UK said on Friday that it would join.

Ms Kearns warned that children were drinking from puddles and people were living on animal feed.

Reports have emerged that 20 people have died of hunger and malnutrition so far, most of whom were children.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Donald Trump

Trump campaign says it will begin accepting cryptocurrency contributions

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty in Arizona election interference case

Prince Harry 'turned down the King's invitation to stay at a royal residence'.

Prince Harry ‘turned down King’s offer to stay in royal residence’ during UK trip because it ‘didn't come with security'

A screenshot taken from AP video showing a general view of northern Gaza as seen from southern Israel, before it was seized by Israeli officials

Israel says it will return video equipment seized from news organisation AP

Craig Mackinlay has said he wants to be known as the first 'bionic MP' after losing both his arms and legs to sepsis.

‘I’m the bionic MP’: Craig Mackinlay says he’s ‘lucky to be alive’ as he reveals he lost both feet and hands to sepsis

Former US president Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Defence rests without Donald Trump entering witness box in hush money trial

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico

Howler monkeys ‘falling out of the trees like apples’ in sweltering Mexico

Mobile coverage is being expanded across the network.

Full list of London Underground stations to receive phone signal this summer - is yours listed?

Prince William hosted a garden party on behalf of his father King Charles

Prince William hosts rain-soaked Buckingham Palace garden party in absence of King Charles

Jan A P Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on Finding Neverland during the 77th Academy Awards in February 2005 in Los Angeles

Composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, Oscar winner for Finding Neverland, dies aged 71

Lawbreaking from the extreme-left is just as bad from the extreme-right, Robin Simcox has told LBC.

Lawbreaking by Just Stop Oil is as bad as similar acts by extreme-right, Commissioner for Countering Extremism says

Fred Roos

Fred Roos, Godfather Part II producer and longtime Coppola collaborator, dies

Matthew Trickett, 37, who was on bail after appearing in court accused of assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service

Former Royal Marine charged with spying for China on Hong Kong activists found dead in park in 'unexplained death'

Smokes rise to the sky after explosions in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

UN halts food distribution in Rafah due to lack of supplies and insecurity

57 cases of cryptosporidium have been confirmed in Brixham

More than 50 people in Devon ill from contaminated water as suppliers announce £3.5m compensation

A photographer takes a picture of the ancient bronze kneeling woman sculpture during a repatriation ceremony at National Museum in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand welcomes return of antiquities from New York’s Metropolitan Museum