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Cindy McCain says ‘politics’ is why not enough aid is being let into Gaza

Cindy McCain, the executive director of the United Nations’s World Food Program, argued “politics” is the reason insufficient amounts of aid are being permitted into Gaza as Israel’s war rages on with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“Well, I’m not really sure where the mistake has been made, but I do know that there’s been accusations that somehow the U.N. isn’t doing their job, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” McCain said on CBS News’s “Face The Nation” when asked if Israeli officials give a reason when not permitting aid groups into Gaza.

Accusations surfaced in recent months that the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency, commonly referred to as UNRWA, is a proxy for Hamas. UNRWA came under scrutiny earlier this year after Israel claimed 12 of the agency’s employees participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“So I think again, it’s politics. I think it’s something that … various factions are involved in. All I want, all I need to know is when and where we can take the food in, make sure that we can distribute it. That’s what I want to know from the Israeli government,” she continued.

CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe pointed to the WFP’s recent report that the territory’s basic food needs will require at least 300 trucks to enter daily, but only nine convoys have been able to come into the enclave. The report stated 1.1 million people in Gaza have completely exhausted their food supplies and are dealing with catastrophic hunger.

“It’s nothing. It really is,” she said. “We just cannot continue this way. As you know, famine is imminent in the north and so unless we can really convince our diplomatic groups and our political groups around the world to help convince the Israelis that we must get in and we must do it in a sustained and unfettered way … People are going to die otherwise, and they already are dying.”

McCain said aid groups are in need of “unfettered access” and that any method of getting food into the territory is not up to scale.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s policy is to permit as much aid as needed into Gaza, but earlier this year, he said his country provides “minimal humanitarian aid” in order to help “achieve” its war goals, CNN reported.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week ordered Israel to take additional steps to protect civilians in Gaza and alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Israel was ordered to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and was told it must “not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza.”

The order came after South Africa filed a case at the ICJ at the end of 2023, accusing Israel of genocide in the war against Hamas in Gaza. More than 32,000 people have died in the conflict since early October, when Hamas invaded southern Israel and killed 1,200 people. About 250 people were taken hostage, about 100 of which are believed to still be alive in Gaza.

Israel has rejected those accusations and maintains it has a right to defend itself against Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

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