UN: “Spare civilians from more suffering”


Gaza is turning into a recipe for epidemics

TEHRAN- Multiple UN agencies have issued warnings about the harrowing plight and suffering of Palestinians stuck in the Israeli war on Gaza.

The United Nations has made an urgent appeal to the Israeli regime not to worsen the “catastrophic humanitarian situation” in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, “The UN continues to appeal to Israeli Forces to avoid further action that would exacerbate the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and to spare civilians from more suffering.”

“The Secretary-General reiterates the need for unimpeded and sustained humanitarian aid flow to meet the needs of the people throughout the Strip. For people ordered to evacuate, there is nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on,” Dujarric added.

His words echoed those of the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who said, “The level of human suffering is intolerable. It is unacceptable that civilians have no safe place to go in Gaza.”

The UN said its head Antonio Guterres “is extremely alarmed by the resumption of hostilities” in the Gaza Strip, including the Israeli military’s “renewed ground operations and intensified airstrikes, increasingly in the south of the enclave.”

Guterres emphasized the need for unimpeded and sustained humanitarian aid flow to Gaza, noting that people ordered?to evacuate have nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on. ??

A statement said the UN chief also remains gravely concerned about the intensified Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank.

The regime has killed at least 260 Palestinians and injured 3,200 others in the West Bank since October 7.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also called on the Israeli occupation to take measures to protect civilians in Gaza.

The UN agency was notified on Monday by the Israeli regime to remove supplies from its medical warehouse in the south “as ground operations will put it beyond use,” its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a post on social media.

WHO voiced strong concern on Tuesday as Israeli bombing intensified in southern Gaza.

Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative on the occupied Palestinian territory, said the situation is “getting worse by the hour”.

“There’s intensified bombing going on all around, including here in the southern areas, Khan Younis, and even in Rafah,” he said.

2.3 million people live in the Gaza Strip and over 80 percent, nearly 1.9 million, are now displaced, according to the latest update from the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which is sheltering 1.2 million residents in its facilities.

UN Humanitarian Affairs Office, OCHA, has said limited aid distributions are taking place in the Rafah governorate in southern Gaza and largely stopped in the adjacent Khan Younis governorate?due to the intensity of Israeli attacks.

Central Gaza has been effectively disconnected from the south, following the prevention by Israeli forces of movement, including the movement of humanitarian supplies.?

“Meanwhile, grave concerns persist about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources, particularly in the north, where the water desalination plant and the pipeline from the (Israeli occupation) was shut down,”  OCHA reported.

Furthermore, there has been almost no improvement in the access of residents in north Gaza to water for drinking and domestic purposes for weeks, it added.

The World Food Program (WFP) continues to warn about the ongoing risk of famine among the entire population in Gaza, especially for those with chronic diseases, older persons, children, and people living with disabilities.?

The situation in Gaza is a “textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster,” a UN official has said.

Lynn Hastings, a UN humanitarian coordinator, said shelters are full, the health system is “on its knees”, there is a shortage of clean drinking water and no proper sanitation.

She added that nutrition is also lacking for people “already mentally and physically exhausted”.

“If possible, an even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond,” Hastings said.

“The two most important routes – the coastal road and Salahaddin Road – are now cut off to our teams and trucks, hindering our ability to help people wherever they are.”

Hastings also issued a warning about the sources of humanitarian supplies.

“The UN and NGOs alone cannot support a population of 2.2 million, commercial and public sectors must be allowed to bring supplies into Gaza to restock markets,” she noted.

The regime has told the UN it will not be renewing a visa for Hastings, the top UN humanitarian aid official for the Palestinian Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Meanwhile, former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Israeli regime of undertaking an “act of cleansing of the entire population of Gaza”.

Corbyn noted that the Israeli response to the al-Aqsa Storm operation on October 7 was in “no way proportionate”.

His remarks came during a session in the British Parliament on Gaza.

Corbyn, who now sits as an independent MP, told the parliament, said, “It is illegal within international law and is in no way a proportionate response.”

He went on to ask whether some in the Parliament think the long-term objective of the Israeli regime is to expel the entire population of Gaza into Egypt?”

============WAR ON CHILDREN

This comes as UNICEF spokesperson James Elder has issued an emotional appeal on behalf of children in Gaza.

“I feel like I am running out of ways to describe the horrors hitting children here,” he says in a video posted online. “I feel like I’m almost failing in my ability to convey the endless killing of children here.”

Elder added, “And so perhaps if the world could see those at risk. Meet Khaled and Hannah.”

The camera then turns to two newborn babies. “Please, meet them, see them,” he says. “And pray that they are alive in a few days time.”

He went on to say that “this war on children in the south is every bit as ferocious as at any time we’ve seen during this war”

His remarks come as Israeli airstrikes on two children’s schools that were sheltering displaced people in the Daraj neighbourhood of Gaza killed at least 50 Palestinians on Monday, the majority of them children, according to WAFA, the official state-run news agency of the Palestinian National Authority.

The health ministry in Gaza says 70% of some 16,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks since October 7 have been women and children.

Since the outbreak of the war on Gaza, the world has seen countless harrowing accounts of suffering inflicted on children.

In Rafah, journalists witnessed the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on a residential block.

A dead child’s legs and bare feet were seen from under layers of concrete in the ruins as several men tried to release the top half of the body by pulling debris with their bare hands.

After finally pulling a large piece of debris, one of the men picked up the child’s legs and gently tried to retrieve the body, but it was still stuck, and the legs dropped to the ground.

The dead child was eventually freed and wrapped in a black cloth.

A man rested the body on his chest with total despair on his face, and carried it away from the ruins, surrounded by other men, some of whom put their hands on his shoulders.

Another tiny body was also being carried away, this time wrapped in a blanket.

Local residents told the media more than a dozen people had been killed in the strike, mostly children. Several of the dead were still buried in the rubble.

Rafah is at the southern end of Gaza, close to the border with Egypt.

The regime has been ordering civilians to move further south to Rafah from other parts of Gaza to avoid being killed in its bombardment, but survivors in Rafah say nowhere is safe.

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