‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’: UN CALLS FOR ‘IMMEDIATE HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE’ IN GAZA
Geneva: The United Nations on Monday reiterated its demand for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza amid the war with Israel and said that keeping an entire population besieged, under attack and denied access to amenities is “unacceptable”
The UN Geneva issued a statement by ‘Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory’.
“We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been thirty days. Enough is enough. This must stop now. Heads of 18 UN agencies and NGOs issue a joint statement on #Gaza,” it posted on X (formerly Twitter).
The global watchdog said that the October 7 attack on Israel doesn’t justify the “horrific killings” of even more civilians in Gaza and cutting off 2.2 million Palestinians from amenities.
It further stated that more aid including food, water, medicines, and fuel needs to enter Gaza and an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” is needed.
“For almost a month, the world has been watching the unfolding situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in shock and horror at the spiralling numbers of lives lost and tom apart,” the UN statement read.
It stressed that in Israel, around 1,400 people have been killed and thousands have been injured, and more than 200 people, including children, have been taken hostage.
“Rockets continue to traumatize families. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. This is horrific,” the statement read.
It added, “However, the horrific killings of even more civilians in Gaza is an outrage, as is cutting off 2.2 million Palestinians from food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel”.
The UN further said citing Health Ministry in Gaza that nearly 9,500 people have been killed in Gaza, including 3,900 children and over 2,400 women, while over 23,000 injured people require immediate treatment within overstretched hospitals.
“An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable,” the statement added.
It emphasised that over 100 attacks against health care have been reported. Scores of aid workers have been killed since October 7 including 88 UNRWA colleagues — the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict.
“We renew our plea for the parties to respect all their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law,” the UN stated.
It added, “We renew our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians held hostage”.
The global agency stated that civilians and the infrastructure they rely on, including hospitals, shelters and schools, must be protected.
“More aid including food, water, medicine and of course fuel — must enter Gaza safely, swiftly and at the scale needed, and must reach people in need, especially women and children, wherever they are,” the UN statement read.
It added, “We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now”.
Meanwhile, in a tragic development, the death toll in Gaza crossed 10,000 since hostilities began on October 7, CNN reported on Monday.
The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza said on Monday that the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since the outbreak of hostilities with Israel on October 7 has now exceeded 10,000.
At the same time, the Rafah border crossing, which had been closed over the weekend following an Israeli airstrike on a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance, reopened on Monday to facilitate the passage of foreign nationals and wounded Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also expressed concerns over the situation in Middle East over the “clear violations of international humanitarian law”.
“I am deeply concerned about clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in the Middle East. The protection of civilians must be paramount. They are #NotATarget. Nobody is above international humanitarian law,” Guterres posted on X.
According to Ashraf Al Qudra, the Gaza ministry’s spokesperson, this figure includes 4,104 children, 2,641 women, and 611 elderly individuals among the casualties, implying that roughly three-quarters of the victims belong to vulnerable populations. The ministry also noted an additional 25,408 people who have been injured in the conflict.
Israel initiated military action against Hamas after the terror group conducted a brutal attack on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 individuals in Israel and the kidnapping of more than 240 people.
In retaliation, Israel launched an air and ground offensive in Gaza with the aim of eliminating the militant group.
Since the opening of Rafah crossing, a total of 476 trucks carrying humanitarian aid has entered Gaza. On average, around 30 trucks per day have been granted passage, although the Palestinian Red Crescent Society emphasized once again that fuel supplies have yet to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, CNN reported.