The head of UNRWA emphasized the importance of a real possibility for a Palestinian state at an emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia.
Philippe Lazzarini spoke at a special meeting organized by the League of Arab States and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, urging immediate assistance for civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in three key areas.
He urged leaders at the Arab-Islamic summit to take immediate action to alter the course of the crisis that was initiated by the Hamas attacks on October 7th.
As reported by the news, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman urged for an immediate halt to Israel’s military actions in Gaza and the freeing of all captives and detainees held by all involved parties in the conflict.
According to him, the situation in Gaza, described as a “humanitarian catastrophe,” highlights the inability of the international community and UN Security Council to stop Israel from committing “serious breaches of international humanitarian laws.” He also stated that the Palestinians are subject to unequal treatment.
‘Dehumanized and abandoned’
The leader of UNRWA conveyed to ministers from various Islamic nations gathered in Saudi Arabia that the people of Gaza feel stripped of their humanity and neglected. They long for reassurance that their suffering is acknowledged by their fellow Arab and Muslim brethren.
He stated that in addition to Gaza, the West Bank is currently experiencing high levels of tension, and the border between Lebanon and Israel is also fraught with simmering conflict.
Mr. Lazzarini emphasized the distress he witnessed firsthand in Gaza last week: “Every young girl and boy I encountered at an UNRWA shelter pleaded with me for food and water. The children used to study and enjoy themselves at the school I visited.”
Currently, the school serves as an overpopulated refuge that does not meet the basic requirements for a respectable living.
He grieved the passing of 101 coworkers from UNRWA due to the Israeli bombing. He mentioned that UN flags will be lowered worldwide on Monday as a tribute to them.
The leader of UNRWA emphasized the need for immediate assistance in implementing a humanitarian truce that upholds international laws regarding the protection of civilians, including UN establishments and medical centers, in order to avoid further casualties.
He encouraged the summit attendees to utilize their influence to take action and emphasized the importance of not holding back any effort.
Additionally, he stressed the importance of a sustained and substantial provision of humanitarian assistance that is able to meet the vast humanitarian demands.
The third statement was about the urgent need for UNRWA to receive financial support and have strong advocates from the Arab and African Islamic community.
He stated that UNRWA is the biggest United Nations organization in Gaza and serves as the only remaining source of support for 2.2 million individuals. He also mentioned that they have the capacity to provide even more assistance if given the necessary resources.
The speaker urged leaders to strongly support the agency and reject false allegations that it promotes hatred or has failed in its responsibilities towards civilians in Gaza. These accusations come from those who wish to see the agency fail.
“We should take a step back from the edge.”
He stated that a long-term political resolution is the only means to avoid recurring patterns of aggression.
“It is crucial to have a real possibility of a Palestinian state.”
We need to take a step back from the edge before it’s too late. I implore the members of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to take action immediately in order to alter the course of this crisis.