Canadian Minister Visits Jordan Amid Worsening Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Canadian Minister Ahmed Hussen visits Jordan to discuss Gaza's humanitarian crisis; Israel's military operations displace over 300,000 people, worsen fuel and food shortages.

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Canadian Minister Visits Jordan Amid Worsening Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Canadian Minister Visits Jordan Amid Worsening Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Canadian Minister Ahmed Hussen recently visited Jordan to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and explore opportunities for assistance. During his visit, Minister Hussen met with Prince Rashid bin El Hassan and UN representatives to address the ongoing crisis.

The meeting comes amid a catastrophic humanitarian emergency in Gaza, where the Civil Defense estimates that around 10,000 bodies remain trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings. The Civil Defense's capabilities have been severely diminished, with 70-80% of their equipment destroyed by Israel, making it extremely challenging to respond effectively to the crisis.

Why this matters: The worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza has far-reaching implications for regional stability and global humanitarian efforts. If left unaddressed, the crisis could lead to further displacement, human suffering, and potential security threats.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has discovered a third mass grave in the Al-Shifa medical complex, which Israel has denied any involvement in. US President Joe Biden has called for a ceasefire in Gaza, but only if Hamas releases the hostages held in the region. Families of the five Americans believed to be held hostage in Gaza met with national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk to express their frustration with the lack of progress in the hostage release talks.

Israeli and Hamas negotiating teams have left Cairo without a deal, with Hamas accusing Israel of hindering the ceasefire talks to use negotiations as a cover to attack the southern Gazan city of Rafah. The UN Humanitarian Agency (OCHA) in Gaza has warned that the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) are likely to have run out of food aid in southern Gaza. Eight bakeries have ceased operations due to a lack of staff, and four are operating at reduced capacity and will be out of stock by Monday.

The closure of the Rafah Crossing and Kerem Shalom, the border crossing between southern Gaza and Israel, has "severed our access to fuel, supplies, and the movement of humanitarian staff," according to Georgios Petropoulos, head of OCHA in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces released a statement saying that they had facilitated the entry of 200,000 liters of fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing over the last few days. The IDF also claimed that Hamas had fired rockets from Rafah towards the aid crossing, but without specifying exactly when the attacks happened.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen, with medical staff at the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah receiving an evacuation order from Israeli forces, putting the hospital's 16 beds at risk of closure and exacerbating the already dire healthcare situation. Fuel shortages have forced hospitals in Gaza to operate for only a few hours, with the European Gaza Hospital already running out of fuel and in blackout. As of May 8, only 12 out of 36 hospitals are partially functioning across Gaza, according to the World Health Organization.

Israeli forces have expanded their military operations in southern Gaza, ordering residents of areas in eastern and central Rafah to evacuate, displacing over 300,000 people who are facing dire shortages of shelter, food, water, and sanitation services. Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) staff members have been displaced multiple times, with five MAP-supported medical points forced to suspend services and relocate due to insecurity. The Rafah border crossing closure has prevented patients from being medically evacuated, leading to concerns about unnecessary patient deaths due to lack of access to appropriate treatment.

Mahmoud Shalabi, MAP's Senior Programme Manager in northern Gaza, described the situation: "We have been displaced again in the north of Gaza, from Beit Lahia to Gaza City this time. We are experiencing a new type of war tactic, which can be described as geographical terror. The Israeli army has been asking us for more than seven months to keep moving from one place to another. I have left my house several times now, along with my parents, who are both older than 70 years old, my three children and my wife. The journey of terror and displacement is beyond words."

As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza reaches catastrophic levels, with over 1 million people sheltering in Rafah alone and 300,000 displaced, the international community is urgently called upon to intervene and provide critical assistance. Canadian Minister Ahmed Hussen's visit to Jordan to discuss the situation underscores the growing global concern and the need for immediate action to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Key Takeaways

  • Canadian Minister Ahmed Hussen visits Jordan to discuss Gaza's humanitarian crisis.
  • 10,000 bodies remain trapped under rubble in Gaza, with 70-80% of Civil Defense equipment destroyed.
  • Hamas accuses Israel of hindering ceasefire talks to attack Rafah, while Israel denies involvement in mass graves.
  • UN agencies warn of food aid depletion, and hospitals face fuel shortages and closure risks.
  • Over 1 million people shelter in Rafah, with 300,000 displaced, and the international community is urged to intervene.