Israel Defense Forces says it killed Palestine Islamic Jihad commander Mamdouh Lolo

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday (January 5, 2024) said it had killed Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander Mamdouh Lolo.

The Israeli army said he was struck by an IDF aircraft in northern Gaza.

“Lolo was a senior figure in the IJ terrorist organization, planned and led countless attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, and was in contact with senior officials in IJ’s headquarters abroad,” IDF tweeted.

Amid reports of continued Israeli airstrikes overnight in southern and central Gaza and more rocket fire into Israel from the enclave, UN teams said on Thursday (January 4, 2024) they have been unable to deliver urgently needed aid to civilians beyond central areas and further north for the past three days.

In its latest alert on the deteriorating situation for 1.9 million displaced people in the Strip, UN aid coordination office OCHA blamed “delays and denials” along with active conflict for the lack of distribution beyond Wadi Gaza.

“This includes medicines that would have provided vital support to more than 100,000 people for 30 days, as well as eight trucks of food for people who currently face catastrophic and life-threatening food insecurity,” OCHA said in a situation update published late on Wednesday.

Wadi Gaza has been “severed” from the south for more than a month, the UN aid office continued, before reiterating calls for safe, sustained and unhindered access to northern areas of the enclave.

“The security situation, access, transport and deconfliction remain extremely challenging, especially for hospitals in the northern governorates,” the OCHA report explained, indicating that many of the same physical and administrative obstacles that have hindered previous aid convoys, remain in place.

In a related development, UN human rights chief Volker Türk spoke out on Thursday at reported negotiations between Israeli government officials and third countries to take in Gazans.