THE UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has announced a pause in food and aid deliveries to northern Gaza after its drivers faced gunfire and violence from desperate residents.

The convoys “faced complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order”, according to a statement from the WFP.

The WFP had attempted to resume aid deliveries in northern Gaza after a three-week pause following a strike on an aid convoy by the Israeli military.

READ MORE: Gaza death toll passes 29,000 as US vetoes UN ceasefire resolution

The WFP said one in six children under the age of two are acutely malnourished and people are dying of hunger-related cases, and the situation is even more dire in northern Gaza.

“In these past two days our teams witnessed unprecedented levels of desperation,” the WFP said.

Hamas’s government media office described the WFP decision as a “death sentence” for hundreds of thousands of people who are in the northern half of Gaza.

The office called for the WFP to withdraw its decisions and for all UN agencies to return and avert “catastrophic consequences of the famine” there.

It comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive on Gaza until “total victory” against Hamas, causing increasing international alarm. 

On Tuesday, the US vetoed a UN resolution brought by Arab nations demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. 

The 22 Arab states said it hoped to show broad global support for ending the war, despite the US's move to vote it down.