UN: In quest of aid, thousands in Gaza break into warehouses

Thousands of Gazans have broken into aid depots to steal supplies, which the United Nations has described as a worrying sign of deteriorating civil order.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinians (Unrwa) reported that warehouses containing necessities such as flour and detergent were ransacked.

The news comes as Israel intensifies its military operations in Gaza against Hamas.

The UN reports that more than half of the Strip's 2.4 million residents have been displaced and thousands of structures have been destroyed.

On 7 October, Hamas gunmen launched unprecedented assaults against Israel from Gaza, killing over 1,400 people and seizing 230 hostages.

Since then, Israel has conducted airstrikes and now ground operations in Gaza, where according to the Hamas-run Palestinian ministry of health, over 8,000 people have been dead.

The second largest UN warehouse, located in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, was attacked on Saturday, according to Unwra. The warehouse houses the majority of the UN's humanitarian assistance.  

The agency reported that people seized flour, wheat, and hygiene kits after storming this and several other storage facilities in the center and south of Gaza.

Abeer Etefa, a senior spokeswoman for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), told the sources that warehouse raids were "anticipated" due to the "difficult conditions confronting people." "The bottom line is that individuals are hungry and desperate," she stated.

Some of the fled Gazans who seized products from the United Nations warehouses stated that they had no wheat, no help, no water and not even toilets.

Abdulrahman al-Kilani, a Palestinian of Gaza, stated that their homes had been demolished and nobody cares about them.

He mentioned that they address their message to the people of the entire world as they feel that every major power on the international stage is working against them.

He stated that they are in need of assistance, and if they weren't in need, they wouldn't have done what they did.

Since the onslaught by Hamas, very little help has been permitted to enter Gaza, and there has been no gasoline allowed in at all.

Israel has expressed its concern that Hamas may use the supplies that it has received to continue the conflict. On the other hand, officials hinted on Sunday that Israel would permit additional aid to enter the strip in the coming days.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced in a video statement that humanitarian supplies from Egypt and the United States would be increased into Gaza on Sunday, but he did not elaborate any further on the specifics of this plan. 

However, Ahmed Abu Zeid, a spokesman for Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has accused Israel of "obstructing" assistance supplies by imposing burdensome security procedures.

In the meantime, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated that the situation in Gaza was becoming more dire by the hour.

More than two million people, who have nowhere else to go that is safe, are being denied the basic necessities of life, including food, water, shelter, and medical care, while at the same time being subjected to a nonstop bombardment.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations issued the following statement: "I encourage all those with responsibility to step back from the brink."