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 unfolds in the besieged territory because of Israel’s devastating war.
Pir-Hossein Kolivand said on Sunday that a ship filled with humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza had recently left an Iranian port and passed through the Strait of Hormuz.
‘The aid consignment includes food, medical equipment and medicines, 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,’ he said.
So far, Iran has donated more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, which he Kolivand 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 7th, Kolivand confirmed Iran has sent two ships and one aircraft with aid to Gaza.
The first ship, sent last month and provisioned by Iranian public donations, left for Gaza after Iran’s first humanitarian aid cargo (which was sent in October) was stopped by Israeli forces in .
In November, Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network, citing political sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that Egyptian officials had apologised to the Iranian people saying 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 organisations 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 situation.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that the death toll from starvation and sickness in the coming months could eclipse the number of people killed in the Israeli bombardment so far — more than 27,000, the majority of them women and children.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 93 per cent 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 United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) after Israel alleged that UNRWA employees were involved in Hamas’s October 7th 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’ to two million people in Gaza is a ‘collective punishment’.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani condemned the recent United States and British aerial aggression against Yemen as an alarming threat to international peace and security.
In yet another act of onslaught against Yemeni soil, the United States and Britain carried out dozens of air raids on the country’s provinces of Sana’a, Hudaydah and Sa’ada, among others,late on Saturday.
The Pentagon claimed that the strikes targeted 13 locations across Yemen and hit weapons storage facilities, missile systems, launchers and other capabilities of the country’s Armed Forces and the popular Ansarullah movement which are used to attack Israeli-tied shipping in the Red Sea in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Kan’ani condemned the attacks as a repeated violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and said the aggression constitutes a flagrant violation of international law by the US and Britain.
He warned that the continuation of such arbitrary actions is ‘open adventurism’ and an ‘alarming threat to international peace and security.’
‘The military adventurism of the United States and the United Kingdom in attacks on the regional countries are the continuation of the policy and the wrong approach of these two countries in using militarism to advance their illegitimate goals in the region, which is in clear conflict with the repeated claims of Washington and London that they do not want to expand the war in the region,’ the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Yemen’s Army says these latest wave of airstrikes by the US and Britain will not go unanswered.
Kan’ani underlined that the US and UK, by supporting the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, are ‘fuelling chaos, disorder, insecurity and instability with the aim of creating a breathing space for this criminal Israeli regime.
‘They are responsible for the genocide of the Palestinians, and the international community is undoubtedly responsible for holding the US and Britain accountable,’ he added.
Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree said on Sunday that the aggressor countries conducted 48 air raids across the Arab country, warning that their assault will not go unanswered.
In solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, Yemeni forces have targeted ships going to and from ports in the occupied territories, or whose owners are linked to Israel, in the southern Red Sea, the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden, and even in the Arabian Sea.
In response to the pro-Palestine maritime campaign, the US and its allies have on several occasions bombed Yemen in violation of the country’s sovereignty and international law.
The Israeli regime launched its hostilities in the Gaza Strip on October 7th, 2023, after the territory’s Hamas-led Palestinian resistance groups launched surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupiers.
Israel has killed more than 27,000 people, most of them children and women, in Gaza since early October.
- The United States House Appropriations panel has recommended allocating billions of dollars worth of weapons and munitions to strengthen the Israeli regime, amid calls on US President Joe Biden’s administration to defuse tensions in West Asia.
On Saturday, the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee unveiled a $17.6 billion bill, including billions for upgrading Israeli air defence, the production of artillery and other munitions.
‘The need to support our closest ally and our own forces in the region has never been more pressing,’ said House Speaker Mike Johnson.
According to Johnson, the funding bill could come to a vote in the full House sometime this week.
The Republican-controlled House had previously approved $14.3 billion in new military aid to Israel, but with the requirement that it be paid for by clawing back a chunk of money already targeted for the US Internal Revenue Service.
The Democratic-controlled Senate balked at that provision and is expected to unveil a legislative package that would aid Israel as well as provide more military assistance for Ukraine in its war against Russia.
According to the House Appropriations Committee, the $17.6 billion would include funds to help replenish Israel’s missile defence systems, procure additional advanced weapons systems, and produce artillery and other munitions.
Some of the funding would also be used to replenish US arms provided to Israel following the October 7th Hamas operation into the occupied territories.
Hamas has strongly condemned US strikes against a number of sites in Iraq and Syria, saying Washington is pouring ‘oil on the fire’ in the region.
However, the Biden administration quickly dismissed the proposal as a ‘cynical political manoeuvre,’ accusing the House Republicans of treating military aid to Israel as ‘a political game’.
In the meantime, various groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have called on the Biden administration to end the Israeli regime’s genocide in the Gaza Strip instead of waging war across West Asia, citing the latest strikes in Iraq and Syria as proof of ‘the total failure’ of US foreign policy in the region.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that American forces had struck multiple targets in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen in the past few days.
Following CENTCOM’s announcement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: ‘President Biden should change course to protect both American soldiers and people of the region from more violence.
‘Justice and freedom for the Palestinian people, not more bombs, is what can build a more peaceful future for the region,’ he said.