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UN agencies demand Gaza ceasefire in ‘shock and horror’ at killing of Palestinians

November 6, 2023 at 1:50 pm

A funeral ceremony is held for Palestine TV correspondent Mohammed Abu Hatab, was killed, along with his family members, in an airstrike on his home in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 03, 2023 [Abed Zagout – Anadolu Agency]

The heads of eighteen UN agencies and non-governmental organisations have demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza today, emphasising their “shock and horror” at the significant loss of Palestinian civilian lives, particularly children, as a result of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

“We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now,” said the heads of, inter alia, UNICEF, UN Women, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and Save the Children.

Israel has been bombing Gaza for a month now. The bombardment has killed 9,770 Palestinians, including 4,800 children and 2,550 women, and injured more than 24,000 others. According to the occupation state, since it started its ground operation in Gaza on 29 October, 29 soldiers have been killed, with 260 wounded.

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 “For almost a month, the world has been watching the unfolding situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in shock and horror at the spiralling numbers of lives lost and torn apart,” the organisations pointed out in a joint statement. “Scores of aid workers have been killed since 7 October, including 88 UNRWA colleagues, the highest number of UN fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict.”

The signatories to the statement have urged all parties involved to uphold their commitments under international humanitarian and human rights laws. This includes safeguarding vital civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, and ensuring unimpeded humanitarian aid access to Gaza.

Furthermore, they expressed disapproval of the situation where the people of Gaza are denied essential goods and services while facing devastating attacks in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship, slamming it as “unacceptable.”

Israel has so far rejected international calls, including by the UN, for a humanitarian pause to its bombardment of Gaza. Critics say that such calls should insist on a ceasefire, not a “pause” in the killing.

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