The United Nations World Food Programme said some of its aid supplies were looted in Gaza and warned of "growing hunger and desperation" in a news release Sunday.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East said earlier Sunday that "thousands" of people had broken into some of its warehouses and distribution centers in the central and southern areas of the strip, "taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies."
The food program said one of the warehouses was storing some of its food commodities, and supplies from humanitarian deliveries through Egypt.
"This is a sign of people losing hope and becoming more desperate by the minute. They are hungry, isolated, and have been suffering violence and immense distress for three weeks," said Samer Abdeljaber, a World Food Programme official for the region. "We need a humanitarian pause to be able to reach the people in need with food, water and basic necessities safely and effectively. Much more access is urgently needed, and the trickle of supplies needs to become a flow."
The food program pointed to the "harrowing 24-hour communication blackout" and "persistent access challenges" that brought all of its operations to a halt as a result of Israel's extensive airstrikes Saturday.
"WFP plans to provide food lifeline to over one million people who are going hungry now and needs a steady supply of food with at least 40 WFP trucks to cross daily into Gaza to be able to meet the escalating needs," the statement said. "So far emergency food and cash assistance has reached over 635,200 people in both Gaza and the West Bank."