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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

UN agencies demand immediate ceasefire amid Israel-Hamas conflict

Major United Nations agencies have issued a joint statement expressing their outrage over the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza.

The heads of major United Nations agencies have issued a joint statement expressing their outrage over the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza. The international community has been closely monitoring the situation in the region, which has left countless lives shattered and torn apart. As the conflict between Israel and Hamas rages on, this unprecedented call for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” aims to put an end to the suffering of innocent civilians.

Toll of Conflict

The statement, endorsed by 18 organizations including UNICEF, the World Food Program, and the World Health Organization, paints a grim picture of the situation that has unfolded since the October 7 Hamas cross-border attack from Gaza into Israel. This initial attack left approximately 1,400 people dead, with a majority being civilians, according to Israeli authorities. In retaliation, Israel launched relentless air and artillery strikes, resulting in a tragic death toll of at least 9,770 people, mostly civilians, as reported by the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Read More: UN Director Resigns, Accuses UN of Failing to Prevent Genocide in Gaza

Overwhelmed Healthcare System

The UN chiefs highlighted the dire state of healthcare facilities in the region. More than 23,000 injured individuals are in need of immediate medical treatment. Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed, struggling to cope with the influx of patients, as the conflict takes a devastating toll on both physical infrastructure and healthcare professionals. The statement emphasizes the urgent need for medical supplies, food, water, and fuel to reach the besieged population.

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

The joint statement strongly condemns the horrific killing of civilians in Gaza and the complete isolation of 2.2 million Palestinians from essential resources, including food, water, medicine, electricity, and fuel. The situation in Gaza has been described as an “entire population besieged and under attack,” with homes, shelters, hospitals, and places of worship coming under fire. This situation is decried as unacceptable and a clear violation of international humanitarian norms.

Attacks on Healthcare

The UN leaders also brought attention to the alarming number of attacks on healthcare facilities and personnel. Over 100 such attacks have been reported, and scores of aid workers have lost their lives since the outbreak of hostilities on October 7. Tragically, among the casualties were 88 members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Call for Humanity

The statement does not place blame solely on one side of the conflict. It calls on Hamas to release the more than 240 hostages taken during its attack and urges both parties to respect their obligations under international law. The UN agencies stress the need for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire. After 30 days of conflict, the toll on civilians has become unbearable, and it is imperative that this situation is brought to an end.

Relief for Gaza

The UN agencies insist on the urgent need to allow more food, water, medicine, and fuel into Gaza. The stated goal of destroying Hamas should not come at the cost of the suffering of innocent civilians. The world watches with bated breath, hoping for an end to the violence and the beginning of a substantial humanitarian response.

Read More: Israeli attack on refugee camp ‘an atrocity’ – UN

The rare joint statement from the heads of major UN agencies underlines the urgency of the situation in Gaza. It is a heartfelt plea for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and the delivery of essential supplies to the besieged population. As the world unites in its call for an end to the conflict, the hope is that diplomacy and humanity will prevail, bringing relief to those who have suffered far too long. The international community cannot stand idle while the people of Gaza endure unimaginable hardships. It is time for immediate action, and the world watches, waiting for a resolution that will end the suffering in this war-torn region.