As violence in Gaza reaches an unprecedented level, the United Nations urges for an urgent ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis.
The Secretary-General, António Guterres, restated his urgent request for a prompt halt to hostilities and the unconditional release of captives, as well as the provision of aid that meets the dire needs of the residents of Gaza. He emphasized the dire humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in the area.
The leader of the United Nations is en route to Nepal for an official trip, but is closely monitoring the developments in the Middle East.
His spokesperson in New York reported that while on a layover in Doha, Qatar, Mr. Guterres had a telephone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to discuss the ongoing situation in the area and the collaboration of relief initiatives for civilians in Gaza.
This is the critical juncture. It is imperative for everyone to take accountability. Our actions will be evaluated by history – António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN.
In Doha, Mr. Guterres had discussions with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani regarding the crisis in the Middle East.
The leader of the United Nations conveyed sincere thanks, recognition, and backing for the mediation efforts of Qatar, particularly for securing the release of hostages held in Gaza.
Regarding the current state in Gaza, the Secretary-General expressed optimism about the increasing consensus among the international community, including Israel’s allies, in recognizing the necessity for a humanitarian ceasefire.
A temporary break would allow for the safe release of hostages in Gaza, the removal of individuals from other countries, and a significant increase in the distribution of necessary humanitarian assistance to the residents of Gaza.
The United Nations leader expressed disappointment that the bombardments did not stop as expected, but instead increased and caused severe damage, going against the humanitarian goals.
Furthermore, the individual expressed worry about the UN personnel currently stationed in Gaza to provide aid, due to the lack of communication.
He declared, “We need to turn this situation around. Let me reiterate what I said yesterday. This is a critical moment and we must all take ownership of our actions. Our actions will be evaluated by history.”
The WHO cautioned that Gaza could experience a complete loss of communication and electricity after ongoing acts of aggression and ground invasions throughout the night.
The World Health Organization reports that it is unable to communicate with its personnel in the region, but is actively attempting to gather data on the overall effect on civilians and healthcare services.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urges all involved in the conflict to take necessary measures to safeguard civilians and civilian infrastructure. This includes health professionals, patients, medical facilities, and ambulances, as well as civilians seeking refuge in these facilities. The statement was released by the agency.
The agency emphasized the need for action to protect civilians and healthcare workers and ensure the safe transport of critical medical supplies, fuel, water, and food in and out of Gaza.
The warning from WHO comes amidst the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip, now in its third week, after Hamas militants entered Israel on October 7 and Israel declared war in response.
The ongoing conflict has resulted in numerous casualties on both sides. Despite the efforts of the UN and other organizations, only a small amount of aid, goods, and medical supplies have been able to reach the devastated area through the Rafah crossing in Egypt. However, there is still a pressing need for more resources to address the rapidly increasing needs.
Increasing number of wounded every hour.
The statement from WHO expressed grave concern about reports of bombing in the vicinity of Indonesia and Al Shifa medical facilities. The agency also emphasized that evacuating patients would put their lives at risk.
The World Health Organization reports that hospitals in Gaza are currently at full capacity due to the ongoing bombardment, and cannot handle a sudden increase in patients. Additionally, these hospitals are also providing shelter for thousands of civilians.
Furthermore, medical professionals who have remained with their patients are experiencing a scarcity of resources, lack of space for new patients, and inability to ease their patients’ suffering.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of injured individuals is increasing by the hour. However, due to the lack of communication, ambulances are unable to reach them. The morgues are already at full capacity and it is reported that over half of the fatalities are women and children.
The action taken by the United Nations General Assembly.
The organization WHO urges anyone with the ability to do so to stop the conflict immediately, in accordance with the UN resolution passed yesterday. This resolution calls for a temporary ceasefire for humanitarian purposes and the prompt and unconditional release of all civilians being held captive.
On Friday afternoon, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution that urges for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza for humanitarian reasons.
The Assembly, consisting of 193 members, passed the measure with a recorded vote of 120-14, with 45 abstentions. This decision was made during an emergency session as the Security Council, responsible for upholding global peace and security, has faced challenges in reaching consensus on three resolutions in recent days. One member country of the UN initially voted differently due to technical issues, resulting in a final tally of 121 in favor, 14 against, and 44 abstentions.
‘New levels of violence’
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement on Saturday expressing concerns over the intense bombardment and ground operations carried out by Israeli forces in Gaza last night. The commissioner stated that this escalation of violence and suffering has reached an alarming level.
Volker Türk stated that the Israeli airstrikes on telecommunications facilities and resulting Internet blackout have worsened the suffering of civilians in Gaza, as they are now unable to access information or connect with the outside world.
The High Commissioner reminded all parties of their responsibilities under humanitarian and human rights laws, stating that bombing the telecommunications infrastructure puts innocent civilians at great risk.
Emergency response teams are currently unable to find those who are injured or trapped under the rubble, as well as the many individuals who are still missing. Civilians are also unable to receive updated information on where they can access vital aid and avoid areas that may pose a greater risk.
Additionally, he noted that numerous journalists are currently unable to cover the situation.
“Last night, we were unable to communicate with our colleagues in Gaza. They have been enduring constant bombing for days and nights without any respite…There is no safety or escape in Gaza. Mr. Türk expressed his deep concern for his colleagues and all civilians in the region.”
He went on to say that the humanitarian and human rights consequences will be devastating and long-lasting. Thousands have already died, many of them children.
He expressed concern about the potential disastrous effects of conducting large-scale ground operations in Gaza, considering the 56-year-long occupation and the previous approach to military operations. He also warned of the possibility of thousands more civilian casualties.
I urge all parties involved, as well as outside nations with influence over the conflict, to take action towards de-escalating the ongoing violence. The ultimate goal should be for both Israelis and Palestinians to have equal access to human rights and coexist peacefully.