The World Food Program is halting supplies to northern Gaza

The destroyed high-rise buildings in Gaza - Photo Profimedia

The World Food Program has suspended supplies to northern Gaza, saying aid convoys have suffered "total chaos and violence due to the breakdown of civil order".

The agency says the decision was not made lightly and that crews faced mobs, gunfire and looting.

They add that these latest reports are evidence of "a sharp slide towards starvation and disease".

The Israeli military ordered 1,1 million Palestinian civilians to evacuate all areas in the country's north and seek refuge in the south at the start of its ground offensive in October.

The evacuation area included Gaza City – which before the war was the most densely populated area in the territory.

Most residents followed Israeli orders, but several hundred thousand chose to stay or were unable to flee as Israeli troops encircled the region and then largely took control of Hamas strongholds there.

Last month, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said at least 300.000 people left in northern Gaza depended on its aid for their survival.

 

Aid deliveries to the north were rare and dependent on security clearances from the Israeli military.

This weekend, the World Food Program expressed hope that a week-long delivery would begin, sending 10 trucks each day to help "stem the tide of hunger and despair."

But on Sunday, as the convoy approached a checkpoint on its way north, it was "surrounded by crowds of hungry people" and then faced gunfire, "high tension and explosive anger" as it entered Gaza City.

In addition, several trucks traveling between the southern city of Khan Younis and the central city of Deir al-Balakh were robbed and the driver was beaten.

Gazans survive on animal feed and rice as supplies dwindle.

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