Counting the Cost

Can a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza be averted?

A deal was reached to allow aid into the besieged enclave through Egypt.

“Gaza is being strangled and it seems the world has lost its humanity.”

Those were the words of Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, as he warned this week of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

Thousands of people have been killed since Israel launched its military offensive against Hamas and imposed a total siege on the enclave.

Residents trapped in Gaza have no access to food, water, electricity or fuel; healthcare is at breaking point; and borders are closed so there is no escape. Nowhere is safe – even hospitals are being targeted.

Israel said it would not block aid entering the enclave through Egypt. So can a humanitarian catastrophe be averted?