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Friday, May 17, 2024

The Gaza Crisis: A Call for Urgent Humanitarian Ceasefire

Gaza cuts into Two

The United Arab Emirates and China have called for a meeting to express their deep concern and grief over the continued attacks by Israel on civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip. These attacks have targeted hospitals, refugee camps, schools, UN premises, places of worship, and other civilian facilities, including the Jabalia and El Maghazi refugee camps, Al Fakhura school, and the Dar El Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Israel hits 11,000 Hamas Targets

The Humanitarian Crisis

In less than a month, more than 10,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed. As we speak, Palestinian civilians, including children, continue to be killed. Several UN officials have stated that Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. No one is safe anymore. More UN aid workers and journalists have been killed in four weeks than in any month of a conflict in decades, if ever.

Palestinian civilians are also deprived of necessities essential to their survival in the midst of this catastrophic situation. This includes electricity, water, fuel, food, and medical supplies.

The Call for Action

The Security Council has been urged to act with urgency and adopt a meaningful and actionable resolution. Over the past couple of weeks, members of the Security Council have been working tirelessly to this end. An urgent humanitarian ceasefire is desperately needed to enable full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access, including for UN and humanitarian personnel, consistent with international humanitarian law.

Israel hits 11,000 Hamas Targets

Violations of International Law

Civilians in Gaza cannot even find safety in UN facilities, schools, hospitals, and refugee camps. These civilian facilities have been under attack in violation of international law. It is imperative that their protective status is upheld. All violations of international humanitarian law, all violence against civilians, including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks, are condemned.

The Need for Compliance

All parties are called upon to fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure. The need for the parties to take measures to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians, as well as humanitarian and medical personnel, UN personnel, and journalists, is reiterated. Wars have rules, and they must be upheld.

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Conclusion

The discussions are ongoing, and the full 15 members of the council are fully engaged on the draft text. The most pressing need on the ground, which all council members have recognized, is the urgent humanitarian need. However, without a cessation of hostilities or some kind of humanitarian truce that is immediately implemented, far too many civilians have already lost their lives and far too many more will continue to lose their lives.

The Security Council is being looked to operationalize its impact on the ground and to save lives. Today, the priority is saving lives, particularly the 4,000 children who have been reported killed already in this conflict. The council members are working night and day to try and find an agreement on the next steps forward.

Gaza cuts into Two

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