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Israel still imposing unlawful restrictions on Gaza aid as world prepares for Iran sanctions

ISRAEL is still imposing “unlawful restrictions” on aid for Gaza, the United Nations warned today, despite claims by the occupying state that barriers have eased.

Israel has been facing increasing pressure to allow more humanitarian supplies into the devastated strip.

UN human rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said: “Israel continues to impose unlawful restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian assistance, and to carry out widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure.”

She said that Israel is also carrying out “widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure.”

UN children’s agency Unicef has called for an increase in medical evacuations from Gaza, saying that less than half of applications had been successful.

“With at least 70 children injured every day, we need the number of medical evacuations to increase so children can access the care they urgently need,” said Unicef’s Tess Ingram, describing cases of children she met who had endured gunshot wounds and amputations.

“Their shattered bodies and fractured lives are a testament to the brutality being forced upon them,” she said.

The Israeli agency which co-ordinates aid into Gaza — Cogat — claims that a food convoy entered Gaza today via a new northern crossing.

The official death toll of Palestinians in Gaza since October 7 is 33,843, including 46 deaths over the past 24 hours, Gaza’s health ministry said today.

The UN calls follow warnings against escalating tensions in the Middle East following this weekend’s retaliation attack by Iran.

It is expected that the United States, European Union and Israel-allied states will hit Iran with new sanctions following calls by Israel to do so.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says he has written to more than 30 countries calling for sanctions against Iran’s missile programme.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the nation could impose new sanctions “in the coming days” and that Iran’s oil exports “remain in focus as a possible area.”

Ms Yellen said the Treasury would use its sanctions authority and work with allies to “continue disrupting the Iranian regime’s malign and destabilising activity.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also called on the EU to impose fresh sanctions on Iranian drone technology.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that Iran will not get off “scot-free” after the drone attack.

“We will respond the way that we will choose at the time that we will choose,” he said.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that his country would react to the slightest action against its interests with a “severe, extensive and painful response.”

Tehran said that the attack on Saturday was retaliation for the Israeli air strike on its consulate in Syria on April 1, in which 13 people were killed.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called on the international community to stop Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu from “stealing” attention away from Gaza by escalating its confrontation with Iran.

International NGOs have signed a letter saying that escalating tensions in the Middle East are “unprecedented” and “risk threatening the lives of millions of civilians.”

The group of 13 organisations, which includes the International Rescue Committee, Save The Children and Norwegian Refugee Council, has called for more political and diplomatic action to “prevent increased civilian harm” and “avoid the security situation spiralling out of control.”

The group has also called for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further human suffering.”

Meanwhile, in north-east Gaza, Israeli forces began a military operation in the town of Beit Hanoun with intense air strikes and artillery shelling.

Dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles entered the town and surrounded three schools housing thousands of displaced people.

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