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Gaza near humanitarian 'collapse'; lasting cease-fire imperative: UN migration agency

December 7, 2023 at 5:44 pm

Palestinians walk on the streets as they set up tents around the Nasser Hospital to take shelter and continue their daily lives under difficult conditions due to Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis, Gaza on December 6, 2023 [Abed Zagout – Anadolu Agency]

The UN migration agency, on Thursday, called for a “lasting and immediate” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as the humanitarian situation is “near collapse” due to intense fighting and lack of access, Anadolu Agency reports.

The scale of displacement in Gaza is massive; the humanitarian conditions are deeply alarming and at the brink of collapse

said a statement by Amy Pope, head of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“An immediate ceasefire is needed to deliver adequate food, water and other essentials to save lives and alleviate the tremendous suffering of civilians,” said the statement, which came a day after UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter , urging the UN Security Council to appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

Expressing the IOM’s “grave” concern about the mass displacement of civilians in Gaza and reports of further evacuations, Pope said:

The people of Gaza must have immediate access to safe shelter, medical care, food, hygiene and sanitation facilities and ensure that family members are not separated. Civilians and humanitarian aid workers must be protected

An estimated 1.9 million people are displaced in Gaza — about 85 per cent of the population — lacking basic necessities such as food, water, dignified shelter and sanitation facilities, as well as medical care, according to the statement.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip 1 December after the end of a weeklong humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group, Hamas.

At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed and more than 46,000 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since 7 October following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.

READ: Gaza has gone ‘far beyond’ a humanitarian crisis – medical charity MSF