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Iran sends third shipment of humanitarian aid to Gaza

File photo shows a shipment of humanitarian aid Iran has sent to the Gaza Strip. (By IRNA)

Iran has sent a third shipment of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said as a massive humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the besieged territory amid Israel’s devastating war.

Pir-Hossein Kolivand said on Sunday that a ship filled with humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza had recently left Iran’s port and passed through the Strait of Hormuz

“The aid consignment includes food, medical equipment and medications, tents, blankets, and other critically needed items based on the list provided to the IRCS by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the Gaza Red Crescent Society,” Kolivand said.

Kolivand said that Iranians have so far provided IRCS more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, which he said is “unprecedented.”

He added that the Iranian Foreign Ministry is working to facilitate the delivery of more aid to Gaza.

Since the war erupted in the Strip on October 7, Kolivand said, Iran has sent two ships and one aircraft carrying aid to Gaza.  

The first ship sent last month, provided by Iranian public donations, left for Gaza after Iran’s first humanitarian aid cargo sent in October was stopped to be transferred by Israeli forces in Egypt.

In November, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing political sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that Egyptian officials have extended apologies to Iranians that they cannot receive any Iranian aid destined for the strip due to the Israeli regime’s refusal to allow it to pass through the Rafah border crossing.

The 60 tons of humanitarian aid including food, medical supplies, and medicines, was also sent from the Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) to Egypt in coordination with the IRCS.

The heads of humanitarian organizations have time and again reiterated that the closing of entry routes to Gaza, which limit the number of trucks loaded with aid, entering the besieged territory and restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers have worsened the “catastrophic” humanitarian condition.

World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the death toll from starvation and sickness in coming months could eclipse the number of people killed in Israeli bombardment so far — more than 27,000, according to the Gaza health ministry, the majority of them women and children.

The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 93 percent of the population faces crisis levels of hunger in Gaza.

To make matters worse, last week, more than a dozen Western countries announced the suspension of their aid to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) after Israel alleged that UNRWA employees were involved in Hamas's October 7 operation into the occupied territories.

UNRWA has been the principal agency overseeing the distribution of aid to Gazans amid the dire humanitarian crisis in the territory that has deteriorated through almost four months of Israel’s genocidal war.

The UN says cutting the “lifeline” 2 million people in Gaza depend on is a “collective punishment.”

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