In a briefing to the UN General Assembly on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, In addition to the collapse of the communications network – due to fuel shortages – and delays in finding bodies under the rubble, a true death toll is difficult to ascertain.
“More than 41,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged – 45% of the housing stock in Gaza”He spoke of the damage caused by attacks by Israeli troops in the war with the Hamas movement.
Medical services in northern Gaza are limited or non-existent, Martin Griffiths said, adding that only one of the 24 hospitals in the enclave’s north with inpatient capacity – Al Ahli – is currently operating and admitting patients.
Eighteen hospitals have been closed and evacuated since the outbreak of war, and five – including Al Shifa, which was left without electricity three days after Israeli forces entered – offer very limited services to patients already admitted.
“These hospitals are not reliably accessible due to insecurity, lack electricity or essential supplies and are not admitting new patients.” He announced that he was the humanitarian leader who almost participated in the General Assembly session.
“This is, without a doubt, a humanitarian crisis which, by any measure, cannot be tolerated and cannot continue. In many respects, international humanitarian law appears to have been turned upside down,” he added.
As bad as the situation in Gaza is, “it’s going to get a lot worse,” the deputy general said, acknowledging the real concern that the conflict could spill over into other parts of the occupied Palestinian territory if immediate action is not taken. The region is “into a conflict with even more devastating consequences”.
Griffiths also recalled about 240 hostages held by the Islamist group Hamas “ranging from children to octogenarians” who had been held captive for more than 40 days.
“They should be released immediately and unconditionally. However, they should be treated humanely and be able to receive visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross,” he appealed.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took part in the session, describing the level of aid allowed in Gaza so far as “deplorable” and “pathetic”, defending the need to quickly fill hospitals and rehabilitate healthcare. Ensure that workers and health services are protected.
So far, WHO has verified 152 attacks in Gaza, 170 in the West Bank and 33 in Israel, including attacks on hospitals, clinics, ambulances, health workers and patients.
Referring specifically to Al Shifa Hospital, Tedros Adhanom stressed that “even though Hamas uses the hospital for military purposes, the hospital and indeed all health facilities are not without protection under humanitarian law.”
“The extent of Israel’s response [ao ataque de 7 de outubro do hamas] It seems increasingly unjustifiable. The WHO, like the rest of the UN body, is impartial. We are not on one side or the other. We are on the side of humanity,” he said.
The WHO chief used the General Assembly session to question the future of the UN, calling the crisis a “decisive test” for the UN and its member states.
“We are witnessing the destruction of life and property on an alarming scale. But we are also witnessing the destruction of civilisation, the rule-based system and trust between nations”, he argued.
“If you, the member states of the United Nations, are unwilling or unable to stop this bloodshed, we must ask: what is the United Nations for?”, the WHO director-general called for an end to the conflict.
Today’s presentation was requested by Libya and Mauritania, as the heads of the Arab Group and the Council of Islamic Cooperation.
Representatives of various UN agencies such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights participated. Armistice.
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