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Thursday, May 23, 2024

World is failing Gaza – UN

The under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs believes civilians everywhere have the right to protection and basic needs

The international community has so far failed to fulfill its basic humanitarian duties and protect civilians in Gaza amid the continued Israeli bombing campaign, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said on Thursday.

Humanitarian aid pledged by national governments and various relief organizations is barely reaching Gaza residents, he added.

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Israel’s “heavy bombardments” are “getting worse,” even in parts of the enclave that were supposed to be safe, and aid “is barely trickling in,” Griffiths wrote in a statement published on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“The rules of war are clear: civilians must be protected and have the essentials to survive, wherever they are and whether they choose to move or stay,” the official stated, in an apparent reference to Israel’s call on Gaza residents to move south amid the continued air raids.

Griffiths, who is also the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, has previously criticized Israel’s order to evacuate, saying it “defies the rules of war and basic humanity.” Forcing “scared and traumatized civilians” out of their homes amid intense bombardments “without even a pause in the fighting and without humanitarian support, is dangerous and outrageous,” he said on October 13.

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On Thursday, the UN official reiterated that “the world itself is failing to meet the bare entitlements of a part of humanity,” referring to Gaza.

His words came as the international body had to scale back its humanitarian aid operations in the Palestinian enclave due to a shortage of fuel. West Jerusalem has barred fuel from being imported into Gaza since the October 7 attack by Hamas, arguing that it could be used for offensive military purposes by the Palestinian militant group.

According to the BBC, fuel was expected to run out at some point on Tuesday, but some aid has managed to enter Gaza via Egypt, including food, water, and medical supplies.

In a post on X on Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) published a satellite photograph that it claims shows storage tanks containing 500,000 liters of fuel in Gaza. “Ask Hamas if you can have some,” the post said.