UNICEF calls for immediate cease fire and humanitarian access into Gaza

AP , Saturday 14 Oct 2023

The U.N. children’s agency is calling for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian access into the Gaza Strip, saying hundreds of thousands of children and their families have started fleeing northern Gaza.

Palestine
Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes on Gaza Strip are brought to al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah City, Gaza Strip, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. AP

 

UNICEF said children and families in Gaza have practically run out of food, water, electricity, medicine and safe access to hospitals, following days of hostilities and cuts to all supply routes.

“The situation is catastrophic, with unrelenting bombing and a massive increase in the displacement of children and families. There are no safe places,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.

UNICEF said its staff have continued to respond to the critical needs of children across the Gaza Strip, but access is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous.

The agency said UNICEF staff will stay in southern Gaza to continue to provide support for children in need.

The United Nations had announced Friday that its agency for Palestinian refugees is moving operations and foreign staff to southern Gaza, following an Israel army evacuation order condemned by the global body.

The move of several UN agencies to southern Gaza comes after the Israeli military gave around 1.1 million Gazans 24 hours to flee from the north of the Palestinian territory.

The UN said such a population transfer in such a timescale is "impossible" and urged Israel to rescind the order.

The UN expert on displacement said Friday she was "horrified" by Israel telling 1.1 million residents to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip, condemning the order as a crime against humanity.

 

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