Live updates: Israel-Hamas war, Gaza hostage release and sustained cessation proposal

Palestinians line up for food aid in Khan Younis, Gaza, on February 2. Hatem Ali/AP

The UN’s main relief agency in Gaza said Friday that half of its aid mission requests to deliver aid in Gaza since the beginning of the year have been denied.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has not been able to deliver aid in Gaza since January 23, agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on X, adding that people in the territory are on the verge of famine.

“The @UN has identified deep pockets of starvation and hunger in northern #Gaza where people are believed to be on the verge of famine,” Lazzarini said. “At least 300,000 people living in the area depend on our assistance for their survival. Preventing access prevents lifesaving humanitarian aid. With the necessary political will, this can be easily reversed.”

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) warned Thursday on X that “2.2 million people in Gaza live in inhumane conditions, facing starvation, famine, disease” and “the winter cold is adding to their suffering.”

Remember: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that the UNRWA mission “has to end” following allegations by Israel that some of its staff were involved in Hamas’ October 7 attack.

The UN Secretary-General has appointed a group to conduct an independent review of UNRWA, which will be done alongside a current investigation by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services into the allegations.

CNN has reached out to Israel’s Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories and Israeli Defense Forces for comment on Lazzarini’s statement.

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