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Humanitarian pause not enough for aid delivery, UN says as it urges ceasefire in Gaza

November 30, 2023 at 8:29 pm

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General at UN Headquarters, United States on 12 September, 2023 [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The UN welcomed the recent extension of a humanitarian pause between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, an official said on Thursday, as it urged a ceasefire in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We need to have a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes. We welcome the fact that this pause or stoppage or silence of the guns has been extended for 24 hours,” spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters in New York. “But it is, as you can imagine, very challenging and complex to plan for the delivery of humanitarian goods based on 24-hour segments.

He added that UN chief, Antonio Guterres, told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the level of aid remains “completely inadequate to meet the huge needs of more than 2 million people.”

“Despite the pause, there has been almost no improvement in the access of residents in the north to water as most of the main water production facilities were made shut down due to the lack of fuel and some also due to damages,” said Dujarric.

The UN and its personnel in the Gaza Strip will not abandon efforts to deliver humanitarian aid in any circumstances, he said.

“Obviously, what we do want to see is a continuation of the situation that we have now where there is no fighting so that we can reach more people in larger volume,” said Dujarric.

A question regarding attacks on health facilities in Gaza and in the Occupied West Bank was met with concern.

“Never should health facilities be used in combat,” he said,

Asked about the “less strong” terminology Guterres uses on the issue compared to other conflicts and whether the UN feels pressure from Israel in choosing terminology, Dujarric said the Secretary-General is “confident and at ease” with the terminology that he is using, which is a terminology that he chooses to use.

“We have been criticised from, you know, one for that 360 degrees for the terminology that we’re using or not using,” he added.

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