Top officials at the world body urgently call for an immediate ceasefire, following the recent surge in deadly violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), particularly Gaza, and in Israel.
“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza” ,Secretary-General António Guterres said, expressing deep shock at the continued air and artillery bombardment by the Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza that has so far claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians, including 60 children, and injured thousands more.
He also called “unacceptable”, the indiscriminate rocket fire towards Israel by Hamas – which controls the enclave – and other militant groups that has resulted in at least 12 deaths.
Appealing to all parties to “cease hostilities”, the UN chief underscored: “The fighting must stop immediately”.
He painted a grim picture of damaged civilian infrastructure in Gaza, closed crossings, power shortages affecting water supplies, hundreds of buildings and homes destroyed, hospitals impaired and thousands of Palestinians homeless.
“The fighting has…forced over fifty thousand people to leave their homes and seek shelter in UNRWA (the UN relief agency for Palestine refugees) schools, mosques, and other places with little access to water, food, hygiene or health services”, lamented the top UN official.
He said he was “deeply distressed” by damage to UN facilities, upholding that “humanitarian installations” are “inviolable”, including during armed conflict.
Read more at UN News: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/05/1092332