Creating new perspectives since 2009

Death, destruction in Gaza 'unprecedented and unbearable' to witness: UN Mideast envoy

December 19, 2023 at 7:12 pm

Civil defense teams and Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of the buildings destroyed in the Israeli attack, on December 19, 2023 [Abed Zagout – Anadolu Agency]

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process voiced concern, Tuesday, about the scope of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

The magnitude of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and the scope of death and destruction in Gaza have been unprecedented and unbearable to witness. I unequivocally condemn the killing of civilians in Gaza, including women and children

Tor Wennesland told the Security Council about the situation in the Middle East.

He mourned the loss of every civilian, including 131 UN personnel, the “single largest” loss of life in the history of the organisation.

“I remain gravely concerned by the impact of the ongoing hostilities on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The current conditions are making it impossible for meaningful humanitarian operations to be conducted,” he said

He raised “deep” concern about escalated tensions in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

READ:  Israel ready for new humanitarian pause in Gaza for hostage release: President

Intensified armed exchanges between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, predominantly in the context of Israeli operations, have led to exceedingly high levels of fatalities and arrests

“I am alarmed by the lethal attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and by Palestinians against Israelis in the Occupied West Bank and Israel. All perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice,” he added.

Wennesland said the “relentless expansion” of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, threatens the viability of a future independent Palestinian State.

“It is critical at this important junction to enable the parties to re-engage on the long-delayed political path to a two-state solution. I urge Israelis, Palestinians, the states of the region and the broader international community to work together towards this goal,” he added.

Israel’s air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October attacks by Hamas have killed at least 19,453 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,286, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The war has left Gaza in ruins with half of the coastal territory’s housing  damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million residents displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack, while more than 130 hostages remain in captivity.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

READ: Ex-Morocco PM: Palestine resistance is ‘nation’s honour’