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UN calls for 'major changes in operating conditions' across Gaza, West Bank

April 17, 2024 at 8:17 pm

Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric at UN Headquarters in New York, United States on 11 March 2024 [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The UN, on Wednesday, emphasised the need for significant changes in operating conditions across the Gaza Strip, Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for a $2.8 billion appeal to meet the needs of 3.3 million residents, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Humanitarian organisations must have safe and sustained access to all people in need across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said at a news conference.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a statement announcing a $2.8 billion appeal earlier Wednesday for donations to meet the needs of 3.3 million people.

Dujarric emphasised the need for “more entry and supply routes by land into Gaza, including from the north, as well as increased utilisation of Ashdod Port.”

He also called for fewer constraints on humanitarian movement within Gaza and emphasised the need to bring in critical humanitarian items, such as communications equipment and protective gear for UN staff.

Highlighting the importance of visas and permits for aid workers, Dujarric said “timely and flexible funding” is needed to ensure the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Asked about reports of illegal Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians and the Israeli military taking part in the incidents, Dujarric said, “Increasing violence in the West Bank is something we’ve been seeing not just since 7 October but before.”

Stressing that the issue is “extremely worrying”, he said, “Targeting and the killing of civilians is to be condemned and needs to be fully investigated.”

He added that UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will speak Thursday at the regular Middle East monthly briefing and “will be speaking to the situation in the region, including that in the West Bank”.

Tensions have been high across the Occupied West Bank amid ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which has left more than 34,000 dead since a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October.

At least 468 Palestinians have since been killed by Israeli army fire in the West Bank, according to the Ministry of Health.

READ: More than 10,000 women killed in Gaza: UN