Middle East crisis

UN bodies make united call for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

UN bodies make united call for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza
Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, 06 November 2023. More than 9,700 Palestinians and at least 1,400 Israelis have been killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian health authority, since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October, and the Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank which followed it. EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED SABER

GENEVA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The heads of several major United Nations bodies on Monday made a united call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as Israeli strikes intensify nearly one month into the conflict.

The 18 signatories include Volker Turk, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths.

“An entire population is besieged and under attack, denied access to the essentials for survival, bombed in their homes, shelters, hospitals and places of worship. This is unacceptable,” they said in a joint statement.

“We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. This must stop now.”

Griffiths on Friday called for humanitarian “pauses” in Israel’s bombardment of the densely populated Palestinian enclave to help aid deliveries, which are far below pre-conflict levels.

Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour responded that Griffiths should call for a full ceasefire.

“You should be saying clearly and loudly in line with IHL (International Humanitarian Law) that a ceasefire should take place,” Mansour said.

“Saving lives should take place. An immediate cessation of all of these hostilities should take place. This is what I expect from you.”

Israel has rebuffed mounting international pressure for a ceasefire, saying hostages taken by Hamas militants during their rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7 should be released.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Emma Farge; Editing by Janet Lawrence)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Cornay Bester says:

    IHL (International Humanitarian Law) doesn’t exist because the UN cannot find common cause.
    “Israel doesn’t exist because the Holocaust happened
    The Holocaust happened because Israel didn’t exist”

  • dexter m says:

    Looking back in time . had a look at pics (AP archives) of the the first refugees (1947) that fled the Jews (Army and militias) , they were promised by UN that they would go home in a few months . The pics of the new tent city now in the south of Gaza looks exactly the same (just in colour ) and it is 2023. How long do they have to wait to go back home. The UN security council takes the blame .US, UK , France , Russia and China . The West vetoed every resolution for a solution first UK till the 70’s then the US . Not a fan of the Russians they always used the Palestinians as leverage against the west. But on this issue they are on the right side of law . The US insists ‘Right of self defense’ must be included for Israel ‘ in any resolution . But Israel as a occupying power as per ICC ruling 2004 cannot use that reasoning (only can used by a country against another country ) ,Israel as a occupying power does not need UN resolution can respond to an armed uprising but it has to be proportional . If US gets this wording it becomes international law and can used by Israel to claim both Gaza and the West Bank as Israeli territory . Can be used also by Israel as cover in any future case at the ICC . This proves why the Security Council as is has to go, if we believe in democracy then the council has to reflect that, without veto powers for any nation. World pop 7.8 billion ,West (470m ), East 1,5 billion . 25 % not democracy

  • Paul Gray says:

    There is such a huge double standard at play here.
    Does anyone remember a certain country invading another country, killing thousands upon thousands of civilians, for WMD’s that were never found and do not exist?

    That was okay, but a country that is legitimately trying to defend itself now and future generations is constantly second guessed by everyone, everywhere.
    The level of hypocrisy is staggering. There are 49 Muslim countries in and around the middle east, how many of those have offered to take in refugees from Gaza – Zero.
    We have a confirmed terrorist organization using civilians as cover to conduct warfare. It violates every convention there is, and yet no one thinks to hold them accountable.
    Let’s be frank for a moment if this exact same set of circumstances was playing out anywhere else in the world there would barely be a flicker in the news cycle.
    Want proof, no one is talking about Yemen. Why because there one Muslim government is waging war against another and the atrocities make what is happening in Gaza seem like a garden party.
    People are so uninformed because they watch main stream fake news and biased reporting.
    Do a bit of research, with some effort you can actually find the truth of the hypocrisy that is out there.

  • Antonette Rowland says:

    No one can condone the evil and tragic acts of killing innocent civilians with the weapons of war. Israel and Hamas both have to carry the responsibility for the continued violence, not Israel alone. Are Hamas militants, claimed to be using innocent civilians as human shields, not guilty too. Can they be classified as terrorists? Are all Palestinians innocent? Who are they protecting? In this very complex situation, aiming for a lasting peace and future for the region, how can the parties be made to stop, talk and listen and share a concern for the common good? Are human solidarity and prayer able to contribute towards peace. The one-sided approach of our SA government, and many pro-Palestinian protests, cannot be seen as just.

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