“Gaza Is Being Strangled” as Humanitarian Crisis Deepens: UN Commissioner

Fri Oct 27 2023
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GAZA CITY: The United Nations has sounded a desperate alarm over the worsening situation in the Gaza Strip, describing it as a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitudes amid Israeli brutalities. Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UN’s Palestine refugees agency, said, “Gaza is being strangled,” emphasizing the critical need for immediate intervention to address the dire circumstances faced by the besieged and bombarded Palestinians.

Philippe Lazzarini pleaded for “meaningful and uninterrupted” aid to be urgently delivered to Gaza, which has been ravaged by nearly three weeks of Israeli bombardment. “The current system in place is geared to fail. What is needed is meaningful and uninterrupted aid flow. And to succeed, we need a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure this aid reaches those in need,” stated Lazzarini.

Israeli forces, backed by fighter jets and drones, launched a second ground raid into Gaza on the outskirts of Gaza City, signaling preparations for a widely anticipated ground invasion. The military confirmed the entry of ground forces into Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli military continued airstrikes on civilian residences and commercial buildings in the besieged Gaza Strip, resulting in unprecedented destruction.

Widespread Destruction from Israeli Air Strikes in Gaza

Meanwhile, Hamas reported Israeli forces attempting a ground operation on the Rafah beach in the southern Gaza Strip. The ongoing Israeli bombardment has resulted in the martyrdom of more than 7,000 innocent Palestinians in just three weeks. Entire neighborhoods have been flattened, resulting in unprecedented levels of death and destruction, surpassing the impact of the past four wars.

Amid the violence, over a million people have fled their homes in northern Gaza, heeding Israeli evacuation orders to move southward despite the continued attacks across the sealed-off territory.

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The UN agency for Palestinian refugees confirmed the credibility of death toll figures provided by Gaza’s health ministry, countering doubts raised by some quarters. UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini stated that the ministry’s figures had been reliable in past conflicts, aligning with the percentage of Palestinians martyred relative to the territory’s population.

Tragically, the conflict has also claimed the lives of 57 UNRWA staff members, reflecting the devastating toll on humanitarian workers. Additionally, UN-run schools, intended as places of refuge, are grappling with severe overcrowding, lack of privacy, and inadequate sanitation.

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