The head of the UN warns of a "humanitarian disaster" in Gaza

2023-12-07 20:53:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
The head of the UN warns of a "humanitarian disaster" in Gaza
Illustrative photo

Also this Thursday, Israel continued its attacks on Hamas militants in the largest cities of the Gaza Strip, killing 350 people as well as thousands of Palestinian civilians seeking refuge to escape the fighting.

Many displaced residents gathered in the town of Rafah on the southern border with Egypt, where Israeli leaflets urged Palestinians to relocate, saying they would be safe. But the Hamas-controlled health ministry reported at least 37 casualties from overnight Israeli airstrikes.

The Israeli army on Thursday also accused militants of firing rockets from several areas near humanitarian centers in the town of Rafah.

United Nations officials say there are no safe places in Gaza. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned of an imminent "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza and asked both Israel and Hamas for a new ceasefire.

The UN Secretary General in a letter to the Security Council warns that a total collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza could have "irreversible consequences for the Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region".

"In the midst of constant bombardment by the Israel Defense Forces, and without shelter or essential items for survival, I believe that public order will very soon be completely destroyed due to the desperate conditions, making even limited aid impossible." humanitarian," said Mr. Guterres.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen criticized the UN chief's stance, saying his call for a ceasefire supported Hamas.

Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy told reporters that Israel wants the war to end, but only "if the goal is achieved that Hamas can never again attack our people."

The United States, Israel's main backer, has repeatedly called on Tel Aviv to protect civilians. But the US has said that a general ceasefire would benefit Hamas.

A week-long ceasefire that ended on December 1 led to the release of nearly 100 hostages held by Hamas, although the militants are still believed to be holding around 140 others. According to reports, no negotiations are underway for another cessation of hostilities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli forces are closing in on the location of Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and that "it is only a matter of time until we find him."

The United Nations said tens of thousands of people have arrived in recent days in the town of Rafah, the only one in Gaza where a limited distribution of humanitarian aid has taken place this week due to escalating violence further north.

Israel has accused Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist group, of infiltrating hospitals and other civilian areas and of encouraging civilians to ignore Israeli warnings to evacuate before airstrikes, using them as human shield; an accusation that Hamas has denied.

Israel launched the military campaign to eliminate Hamas in Gaza after the group's fighters launched an attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages.

During its military offensive, Israel has killed at least 16,240 people in Gaza, 70% of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry./ VOA

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