Israel-Hamas conflict: Chaos at aid delivery on Gaza beach as millions of residents face hunger crisis

A huge crowd of people ran and jostled on a Gaza City beach as news of a flour delivery spread, their hunger and desperation obvious in the chaos unfolding on the sand beside the rubble and twisted metal of flattened buildings.

Some people carried bags to fill with flour, others climbed onto U.N. aid trucks, throwing down what looked like sacks of flour into the crowd below, according to footage posted on social media on Sunday.

Gaza City, in the north of the tiny, crowded enclave, was the first major focus of Israel's bombardment and assault after the war began on Oct. 7 when Hamas militants stormed the border, killing more than 1,200 people in Israeli towns.

Israel ordered all Gaza City residents to leave in October, though many stayed despite the warfare, and others have returned since the military pulled some troops from there last month, while saying civilians should still keep away.

Israeli bombardment has killed more than 24,100 Palestinians since Oct. 7, health authorities in Hamas-run Gaza say.

U.N.-backed report in December said all Gaza's 2.3 million people faced crisis levels of hunger, with the risk of famine increasing every day and the proportion of the population facing acute food insecurity rising to the highest ever recorded globally.

Inside Gaza, hunger is not evenly spread. Nearly all aid arriving in the enclave goes through Rafah, on the border with Egypt, and humanitarian agencies have cited problems distributing supplies.

On Friday the U.N. humanitarian office said Israeli authorities were systematically denying it access to northern Gaza, where Gaza City is located, to deliver aid, significantly hindering its operations there.

Israel's military has denied blocking the entry of aid.

On the Gaza City beach, a few white U.N. cars with the organisation's blue flag drove along the sand. Some people were visible in the posted video struggling under the weight of heavy sacks.

Reuters was able to authenticate the location of the footage showing the scramble for aid from buildings and terrain visible in the video, but not the date it was filmed.