Gaza on brink of 'point of no return': UNRWA chief
In his latest statement, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini details the aftermath of the genocide and the steps to be taken to halt hostilities and protect Palestinians from the ongoing Israeli aggression.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini addressed the international humanitarian conference for the civilian population in Gaza, detailing the aftermath of the genocide and the steps to be taken to halt hostilities and protect Palestinians from the ongoing Israeli aggression.
Lazzarini, in his statement, first discussed the recklessness of Israeli strikes, which have hit 88 UN sites in Gaza, killing at least 250 Palestinians and injuring 900 more, who had sought safety there. As a result, 600,000 Palestinians have been forced to evacuate the shelters in middle and southern Gaza, with nowhere to go, as nowhere is safe, stressing that there is no such thing as “safe zones” if "declared unliterally in a war zone."
He then addressed the issue of overcrowdedness, as 22,000 more people are expected to arrive in Rafah, where Palestinians already reside under terrible and unsustainable conditions. Lazzarini went on to highlight the insufficiency of the aid that was being allowed into Gaza and how most of it has been destroyed by "Israel's" constant bombing and striking.
The UNRWA Commissioner-General stressed the need for a ceasefire, as the one-week ceasefire Gaza witnessed at the end of November was able to bring in a lot of relief and spare more civilian lives. But most importantly, Lazzarini stated the need for funds to cover humanitarian needs in the Strip.
Philippe concluded his statement with a message, saying, "We are reaching a point of no return in Gaza, where the blatant disregard for international humanitarian law scars our collective conscience. States must find the political will to end this tragedy. Failing to act now and stop the carnage will forever stain our credibility as representatives of the international community, and fuel endless cycles of violence that will eventually engulf us all."
Palestinians gather in front of the UNRWA headquarters in Deir al-Balah in light of the starvation war waged by the occupation on the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/XczQUJFLcU— Angelo Giuliano (@angeloinchina) December 7, 2023
UNRWA: A flood of statements as a result of Israeli aggression
On December 4, UNRWA confirmed that almost 1.9 million people, approximately 80% of the population, have been displaced in Gaza since October 7.
The statement added that as of December 2, the number of UNRWA staffers killed since the start of the war on Gaza has reached 111.
This comes two days after the last UNRWA statement, which warned that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, considering the dire situation they are subjected to, could either be killed by indiscriminate Israeli bombing or from diseases that are wildly spreading across the Strip.
"Gaza’s population will soon begin dying from diseases as well as Israeli bombardment," said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in a post on X as it expressed concern about the increasing risk of diseases in the besieged Gaza Strip.
As a result of the ongoing Israeli genocide in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA warned that "people have lost everything and they need everything," stressing that "over 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza - including over 6,000 children and 4,000 women - since the war began."
Elsewhere in his remarks, the director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza emphasized that the prevalent risk of disease in Gaza is heightened by the fact that UNRWA schools, initially designed to accommodate 1,500 people, are currently hosting over 6,000 individuals in the southern region.
This comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) also warned, earlier last month, of the increasing risk of disease spread across the Strip, stating that "the situation is particularly concerning for almost 1.5 million displaced people across Gaza, especially those living in severely overcrowded shelters with poor access to hygiene facilities and safe water, increasing the risk of infectious diseases transmission."
Heavy bombardment & resumption of military operation have made the situation in #Gaza desperate.— UNRWA (@UNRWA) December 7, 2023
Conditions required to deliver aid DO NOT exist.@UNRWA shelters are OVERFLOWING.
There is NOT ENOUGH aid to meet the overwhelming needs. @UNRWA operations are being strangled. pic.twitter.com/811ch3KSSx