In the Gaza Strip, it takes the form of a “scenario even more out of hell”in which humanitarian operations may not be enough to meet needs, a UN official warned yesterday, Monday, as Israel’s army tightens its grip on the Palestinian enclave.
After hostilities resumed on December 1, following a seven-day ceasefire, “Israeli military operations expanded into southern Gaza, forcing tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in increasingly compressed areas in desperate need of food, water, shelter and security,” Lynn Hastings, its coordinator, said in a statement UN on humanitarian affairs in the Palestinian Territories.
“The necessary conditions do not exist to distribute aid to the population in Gaza. And if that’s possible, it’s heading for an even more hellish scenario that humanitarian operations will be unable to respond to,” he continued.
“No one is safe in Gaza and you can’t go anywhere,” the Canadian insisted, rejecting in these circumstances the idea of ”safe zones” mentioned by the US.
These zones can be “neither safe nor humanitarian when declared unilaterally,” he continued.
“What we see today are shelters with no places, the health system on its knees, a lack of clean and potable water, no sanitation and insufficient food for a population mentally and physically exhausted: a textbook recipe for outbreaks and disaster from the point of view of public health,” he explained, underscoring that the humanitarian aid and fuel allowed into the Gaza Strip is far from sufficient.
“The margin for a humanitarian response in Gaza is constantly shrinking,” as two key roads were closed to UN teams and trucks, the Jerusalem-based UN official added.
Ms Hastings’ visa will not be renewed by Israeli authorities, who accuse her of not being “impartial”.
The representative of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, calling for the umpteenth time to declare a “permanent humanitarian ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, called on the Israeli armed forces to avoid “further actions that could aggravate the already disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza and to protect civilians from further suffering,” almost two months after the outbreak of Israel/Hamas war.
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross calls for a “political solution” in Gaza
At the same time, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoliarcic, who arrived on Monday in the Gaza Strip, denounced the unbearable suffering of the population and called for a “political solution”.
In a video she sent to the media, the head of the ICRC calls for “the protection of civilians” in the face of the “moral failure” of the international community.
“The ICRC will do everything in its power to help alleviate and reduce suffering, but we cannot do it alone. Moreover, the solution is not only humanitarian, it needs a political solution”, he underlined.
“We are facing a situation that will not be resolved by sending additional trucks” of humanitarian aid, Mirjana Spoliarcic said, stressing that the women, children and elderly she saw in Gaza “have nowhere to go.”
“I call on the (involved) sides and all those with influence to attempt a de-escalation and find non-military solutions to what is a very great pain for the populations on both sides,” he also said.
Israel’s military denies ordering WHO to empty warehouse in Gaza
Meanwhile, the Israeli army denied that it demanded that the World Health Organization (WHO) vacate within 24 hours a warehouse of medical supplies in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
“The truth is that we did not ask for warehouses to be evacuated and we stated this clearly and in writing to the relevant UN officials,” the Israeli Defense Ministry’s body responsible for overseeing political activities in the Palestinian territories (COGAT) said.
Source: News Beast
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