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The leader of the United Nations declares an end to the violence and displacement affecting the Gaza Strip.
Middle East World News

Strip The leader of the United Nations declares an end to the violence and displacement affecting the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations leaders repeated the message to enhance the living conditions of the 2.3 million residents of Gaza, with 1.7 million of them being forced to leave their homes due to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. This attack resulted in the death of 1,200 Israelis and the capture of 240 hostages. Since then, over 11,000 people have lost their lives in the besieged area of Gaza.

“The current conflict is resulting in an alarming and intolerable amount of innocent civilian deaths, including women and children, on a daily basis,” stated UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday. “This must come to an end. I once again urge for an immediate ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis.”

“The events in Gaza over the last 2 days are unimaginable,” stated Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on Sunday.

Growing despair

Mr. Türk expressed concern over the large number of casualties in schools turned shelters and hundreds of people seeking refuge at Al-Shifa Hospital due to ongoing displacement of hundreds of thousands in southern Gaza. He emphasized that these actions go against the fundamental protections that civilians are entitled to under international law and warned that failure to comply with these regulations could be classified as war crimes.

The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) reported on Sunday that approximately 884,000 internally displaced individuals are currently seeking shelter in 154 UNRWA facilities throughout all five regions of the Gaza Strip.

An employee from UNRWA expressed that simply entering one of the shelters would bring someone to tears. They described children searching for nourishment and standing in line for more than six hours just to receive a single piece of bread or a bottle of water. As a result, many people are forced to sleep on the streets in Khan Younis as thousands flee from the north.

Attacks on schools, shelters

Within a span of 24 hours, two schools run by UNRWA that were providing shelter to displaced families were targeted, resulting in numerous fatalities and injuries, primarily among women and children. This occurred amidst a rise in humanitarian needs and other fatal occurrences throughout Gaza and the West Bank, as reported by UNRWA.

According to Mr. Türk, there have been attacks on at least three other schools that are currently providing shelter for displaced Palestinians.

He declared, “We need to put humanity first and put an end to this. A ceasefire is urgently required, based on humanitarian and human rights reasons. Immediately.”

On Sunday, Philippe Lazzarini, the leader of UNRWA, stated that the assaults were “extremely cruel”.

He expressed his shock as he read about the attack on the Al-Fakhoura UNRWA school, which had been turned into a shelter in northern Gaza.

A strike hit classrooms that were providing shelter for families who had been displaced, resulting in 24 reported deaths. The head of UNRWA stated that approximately 7,000 individuals were inside the school at the time. On Friday, ambulances were unable to reach the UNRWA Al-Falah/Zeitoun school in Gaza City after it was targeted, leaving 4,000 sheltering individuals without medical assistance.

Beyond ‘collateral damage’

According to Mr. Lazzarini, since October 7, there have been reports of at least 176 fatalities and 800 injuries among individuals seeking refuge in the agency’s schools due to Israeli attacks.

He stated that the significant amount of UNRWA buildings targeted and the resulting deaths of innocent civilians cannot simply be dismissed as “collateral damage.” He also mentioned that the UN agency regularly provides the coordinates of these buildings to all parties involved in the conflict.

The speaker stated that the ongoing war has become extremely severe, with a blatant disregard for rules and innocent civilians. He urged for humanity to take precedence and for an immediate ceasefire to be implemented for humanitarian reasons.

Palestinian civil defence responders search the rubble of a building in the aftermath of an air strike in the Gaza Strip. (file)

Rescue workers from the Palestinian civil defense are combing through the debris of a structure following an airstrike in the Gaza Strip. (previously recorded)

Al-Shifa Hospital

The Israeli army has been carrying out ongoing operations in and near Al-Shifa Hospital, which was visited by UN officials on Saturday and was described as a “zone of death”.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and humanitarian organizations assisted in the evacuation of critically ill infants.

According to the head of UNRWA, the Israeli military commanded medical staff, patients, and civilians to evacuate the hospital during the weekend. He also reported that many people were observed traveling south on foot, putting themselves in danger and jeopardizing their well-being.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that six ambulances from the Palestine Red Crescent had transported infants to Al-Helal Al-Emirati Maternity Hospital for urgent medical treatment.

“The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced on Sunday via social media that additional missions are being organized to promptly evacuate the remaining patients and health workers from Al-Shifa Hospital.”

A joint humanitarian team, led by WHO, accessed Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to assess the situation on the ground.

A team of humanitarian workers, under the direction of WHO, entered Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to evaluate the current conditions.

Southern Gaza

According to OHCHR, leaflets are being dropped by the Israeli Defense Forces in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, instructing residents to seek shelter in areas that have not been specified, while attacks continue to occur throughout Gaza.

According to Mr. Türk, Palestinians who have already been displaced are facing challenges in meeting their basic needs due to severe limitations on life-saving aid. These individuals are being forced into increasingly cramped, unclean, and unsafe living conditions.

The UN human rights chief stressed the importance of Israel’s duty to safeguard innocent civilians, despite any prior warnings. The visible distress and terror on the faces of children, women, and men is unbearable. How much more suffering and loss of life must occur before people realize the need for peace? How many more innocent lives will be lost?

UNRWA schools are sheltering more than 800,000 displaced people in Gaza during the Israel-Palestine crisis.

© WFP/Ali Jadallah

During the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, UNRWA schools have provided refuge for over 800,000 individuals who have been forced to leave their homes in Gaza.

Critical needs

In the meantime, demands are increasing, according to statements from UN agencies.

Since the start of the conflict on October 7, access to fuel essential for humanitarian efforts in the enclave has been heavily restricted. However, there have been some limited fuel deliveries beginning on Wednesday. According to UNRWA, starting this Saturday, 120,000 liters of fuel will be delivered every two days.

The United Nations agencies have stated that the current amount is insufficient for all humanitarian operations. They assert that a minimum of 200,000 liters per day is necessary for tasks such as powering generators for hospitals and operating water facilities. These essential services have been disrupted since the beginning of the conflict.

According to UNRWA, fuel is essential for telecommunications networks. The fourth communications blackout in Gaza on Friday prevented the agency from transporting humanitarian aid trucks that had arrived from Egypt.

Rising death toll

As of November 10th, the UNRWA report states that 11,078 individuals have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip since October 7th. According to the report, approximately two thirds of these casualties are children and women. However, due to the breakdown of services and communication in the northern region, the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to provide updated casualty data for the past five days.

According to media sources, there have been nearly 12,000 reported deaths among Palestinians.

The United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) reported that on October 7th, approximately 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals were killed in Israel.

Unfortunately, a UNRWA staff member lost their life in the northern region as a result of attacks on Saturday. This brings the total number of colleagues killed to 104 since the war began, which is the largest number of UN relief workers killed in any conflict in the history of the Organization, according to the UN Palestine refugee agency.

West Bank

UNRWA’s situation report stated that there were instances of violence, fatalities, and injuries in various parts of the West Bank, such as the Fara’a and Jenin refugee camps.

According to OCHA, Israeli security forces have killed 198 Palestinians, including 52 children, since October 7. Eight individuals, including one child, have also been killed by Israeli settlers.

On Saturday, the Israeli security forces conducted a mission in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus. They utilized an armored bulldozer and a drone to launch missiles at the Fatah office, resulting in five deaths, two injuries, and destruction of homes and shops according to UNRWA.