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इंडियन आवाज़     19 May 2024 12:59:32      انڈین آواز

“There is still no end in sight” as the war approaches its 140-day mark in Gaza: UN

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The Security Council met on Thursday at UN Headquarters in New York on the situation in the Gaza Strip, wracked by months of unrelenting war and tensions spilling into the wider Middle East region, with no solutions on the horizon to stop the fighting.

The UN Security Council meets on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
UN Photo/Loey Felipe The UN Security Council meets on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

AMN / WEB DESK

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,Tor Wennesland, told ambassadors that “there is still no end in sight” as the war approaches its 140-day mark. “No end to the trauma of those impacted by the horrors unleashed on 7 October. No end to the suffering and desperation the people in Gaza. No end to the regional turmoil.”

Mr. Wennesland visited Gaza this week and described the humanitarian situation there as shocking, unsustainable and desperate.

He said that internally displaced Palestinians are facing acute shortages of food, water, shelter and medicine, while communicable diseases are rising sharply unsanitary conditions and there is a “near total breakdown” in law and order.

He added that the UN Humanitarian Coordinator has a plan to deliver the essentials – food, shelter, medicine and water/sanitation – but the UN’s capacity to deliver depends on coordinated humanitarian movements, effective deconfliction with the parties and Israeli approvals for essential communications equipment and armored vehicles – “all of which provide the minimum conditions for staff to work safely.”

“This must be improved – UN convoys and compounds must not be hit and our equipment needs clearance,” he stressed.

“Keeping Gaza on a drip-feed not only deprives a desperate population of life-saving support, it drives even greater chaos that further impedes humanitarian delivery,” he added.

Dialogue, not violence
Warning that the scale of the emergency could quickly spiral out of control, Mr. Wennesland appealed for a collective, coordinated and comprehensive response to not only address the immediate crisis in the Strip but to help restore a political horizon for Palestinians and Israelis, alike.

“To do this, we urgently need a deal to achieve a humanitarian ceasefire and the release of hostages,” he stressed, adding also the need to create the space for dialogue over violence.

“Ultimately, the only long-term solution for Gaza is political,” said Mr. Wennesland.

“While taking into account Israel’s legitimate security concern, there must be a clear path toward restoring single, effective Palestinian governance across the OPT (occupied Palestinian Territory), including in Gaza,” he added.

Two-State solution
Alongside, international support to strengthening and reforming the Palestinian Authority to improve domestic and international legitimacy will be crucial.

To create these conditions, Mr. Wennesland called for a time bound political framework to end the occupation and negotiate a two-State solution.

“These efforts must coalesce and accelerate if we are to emerge from this nightmare into a trajectory that can provide Palestinians and Israelis with the chance of lasting peace,” he concluded.

Christopher Lockyear, Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
UN Photo/Loey Felipe Christopher Lockyear, Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), briefs the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

Constants attacks against healthcare

“Attacks on healthcare is an attack against humanity,” he said, noting that while Israel claims Hamas is operating in hospitals, “we have seen no independently verified evidence of this.”

Not 48 hours ago, Israeli shelling and gunfire killed and injured MSF staff and their families in Khan Younis, despite notification to the warring parties of the location, which was marked with an MSF flag, he said, recalling that some were trapped in the burning building, which active shooting delayed ambulances from reaching them in what has become an “all too familiar” pattern of Israeli forces raiding hospitals, bulldozing MSF vehicles and attacking its convoys.

“This pattern of attacks is either intentional or indicative of reckless incompetence,” he said, adding that his colleagues in Gaza are fearful that as he speaks to the Council today, they will be punished tomorrow.

“The laws and the principles we collectively depend on to enable humanitarian assistance are now eroded to the point of becoming meaningless,” he said.

UN NEWS

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