UNRWA warns about repeat of horrors in Gaza

2023-12-05 11:07:41
UNRWA warns about repeat of horrors in Gaza

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said the resumption of the Israeli military operation and its expansion further in southern Gaza is repeating horrors from past weeks.

The number of civilians killed is rapidly increasing. Civilians, including men, women, children, older persons, the sick and people with disabilities are the most to suffer, Lazzarini said.

Israeli forces’ bombardment is ongoing following another evacuation order to move people from Khan Younis into Rafah. The order created panic, fear and anxiety. At least an additional 60,000 people were forced to move to already overcrowded UNRWA shelters, with more asking to be sheltered. Many have already been displaced more than once fleeing the war in other parts of Gaza, he said in a press release.

The evacuation order pushes people to concentrate into what is less than one-third of the Gaza Strip, he said, adding that they need everything: food, water, shelter, and mostly safety. Roads to the south are clogged.

Access to water is limited, as the Israeli operation has prevented access to the largest desalination plant in Gaza that previously provided drinking water for 350,000 people. The largest hospital in southern Gaza with over 1,000 in-patients and sheltering 17,000 displaced people may cease to operate due to lack of supplies and insufficient personnel.

Claims that the UN has thousands of tents and plans to open new refugee camps in Rafah are false, he stressed.

We have said it repeatedly and we are saying it again that no place is safe in Gaza, whether in the south, or the southwest, whether in Rafah or any unilaterally so-called ‘safe zone’.

Reports show that the latest developments are further strangling the humanitarian operation, with limited supplies going in and complex logistical and coordination arrangements that slow down and at times obstruct the flow. The Israeli Authorities continue to restrict the flow of humanitarian supplies, including fuel, forcing the UN to only use the ill-equipped crossing point with Egypt.

The UN official also called on Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom and other crossings and facilitate the unconditional, uninterrupted and meaningful delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance, because the failure to do so violates international humanitarian law.

The end of the humanitarian pause has already brought further suffering, loss and grief to civilians wherever they are; so, we call for a humanitarian ceasefire, he concluded.

(Source: Agencies)

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