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UN warns ‘even more hellish scenario about to unfold’ in Gaza

December 5, 2023 at 10:42 am

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) Humanitarian Coordinator Lynn Hastings in Gaza City, on 23 May 2021 [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lynn Hastings, has warned that an “even more hellish scenario is about to unfold” in Gaza, “one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond.”

Hastings indicated in a written statement on Tuesday that, “Nowhere is safe in Gaza and there is nowhere left to go.” She stressed that since the resumption of Israel’s attacks after the humanitarian truce, “Israeli military operations have expanded into southern Gaza, forcing tens of thousands of others into increasingly compressed spaces, desperate to find food, water, shelter and safety.”

Hastings noted that what is being seen today are shelters with no capacity, a health system on its knees, a lack of clean drinking water, no proper sanitation and poor nutrition for people already mentally and physically exhausted. “It’s a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster.”

She pointed out that space for the humanitarian response allowed inside Gaza is constantly shrinking and that UN staff cannot fully perform their duties. “The UN and NGOs alone cannot support a population of 2.2 million. Commercial and public sectors must be allowed to bring supplies into Gaza to restock markets. This must include fuel in a manner which ensures Israel’s security.”

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