The Secretary-General, António Guterres, restated the need for an urgent ceasefire between Israeli military and Hamas, the governing body in Gaza, as well as other militant organizations.
Regular delivery of assistance crucial to
According to Mr. Guterres, withholding essential resources from the people of Gaza is only making the human suffering of the conflict worse. He urges for unrestricted and safe humanitarian aid to be consistently provided on a large scale in order to address the urgent needs caused by the unfolding crisis in Gaza.
The speaker expressed great concern about the escalating violence, which included increased ground operations by the Israel Defense Forces and more frequent airstrikes, as well as ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza towards Israel.
He stated that civilians have suffered the most in the ongoing battle. Ensuring the safety of civilians on both sides is crucial and must be honored at all times.
The Ministry of Health, which is controlled by Hamas, has stated that since October 7th, more than 8,300 individuals have lost their lives in Gaza. This includes 3,547 children, 2,136 women, and 480 elderly individuals.
The most recent data published by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), which employs approximately 13,000 individuals in Gaza, clearly demonstrates the severity of the humanitarian crisis.
There are 670,000 individuals who have been displaced and are currently residing in 150 UNRWA facilities.
According to the agency, the situation in shelters is still dire, as there is very little aid accessible and no extra room. Healthcare is declining and there is an increase in risks to protection.
UNRWA deaths mount
In addition, the agency reported that three more members of its staff were killed in their homes, along with their families, in the current airstrikes within the last 24 hours.
The total number of deaths has now reached 67. UNRWA leader Phillipe Lazzarini announced last night that one of the victims, Samir, who was the head of security and safety for the central region of Gaza, passed away shortly before the Security Council convened in New York. He was killed along with his wife and eight children.
The Secretary-General expressed his sorrow and respect for the United Nations employees who lost their lives during the bombing of Gaza in the last three weeks. He shared his condolences with the families of these colleagues who died while serving their duties.
I spoke with Adnan Abu Hasan, the UNRWA Spokesperson in Gaza, on Tuesday. He shared the challenges and dangers that his colleagues face as they work to provide limited aid to those in dire need.
Airstrikes continue to harm his own family members, highlighting the harsh truth that there is no safe place for aid workers and civilians in that area.
Release of hostages without conditions.
On October 7th, the leader of the United Nations once again expressed his strong disapproval of the terrorist actions carried out by Hamas.
He stated that there is never a valid reason for harming or taking civilians as hostages. He called for the prompt and unconditional release of any civilians being held captive by Hamas.
The importance of adhering to international humanitarian law was reiterated by Mr. Guterres, as it sets out definitive guidelines that must be followed. It should not be treated like a menu where certain rules can be chosen and others disregarded.
Everyone involved must follow the guidelines, which include the concepts of differentiation, fairness, and caution.
Examining the potential hazards of overflow into Lebanon and Syria, the leader of the United Nations expressed ongoing worry about the possibility of a perilous escalation. The UN chief urged all leaders in the area to exercise extreme caution.