Escalating human crisis in Gaza amid ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict: Live updates

CNN’s David Shortell reports that Sigrid Kaag, a veteran Dutch diplomat, has been appointed by the UN Secretary General to lead the effort in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. This follows a breakthrough UN Security Council resolution created this month. Kaag, who is also a Dutch politician, will be resigning as finance minister and deputy prime minister of the Netherlands to take on the role of UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza.

The decision to appoint Kaag comes at a critical time for Gaza, with conditions in the area reaching “nightmare” levels, as described by the chief of the World Health Organization. Hospitals are facing severe shortages of power and medicine, putting the population at risk of famine.

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, Israel has allowed only a limited number of trucks to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza. The UN has criticized this amount as insufficient to meet the needs of the population of over 2 million.

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, has also accused Israel’s tactics in Gaza of creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian aid.

Sigrid Kaag’s new responsibility will involve creating a mechanism to accelerate the movement of aid into Gaza, as well as facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying the relief effort. This includes ensuring that aid trucks are screened before they enter the enclave to prevent the transportation of non-humanitarian material.

The Security Council resolution, which called for the immediate, safe, and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza, was passed last week with the abstention of the US following several days of negotiations and delays.

This development comes as a significant step towards addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and providing vital aid to the population during this challenging time.

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