UN calls for $350 million to aid vulnerable Palestinians
The need for aid in the occupied Palestinian territory has increased, said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the region, in a statement on Monday.
Mr. McGoldrick’s comments were released as part of the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the occupied Palestinian territory, which calls for $350 million to assist 1.4 million people, the maximum number of people that the UN can, he said, realistically reach in the current “non-conducive political and resource climate.”
The Humanitarian Coordinator described 2018 as a challenging year for UN agencies and aid workers in the region, particularly in Gaza. Since March, over 150 Palestinians have been reported killed, and more than 10,000 injured in connection with demonstrations along the Israeli border.
Tunnels under Israel-Lebanon ‘Blue Line’, violate Security Council resolution
Several tunnels discovered under the UN-drawn “Blue Line” by Israeli authorities which marks the border between South Lebanon and Israel, are in violation of a key UN Security Council resolution.
That’s according to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, which said that it had dispatched technical teams to carry out site inspections south of the Blue Line, to ascertain the facts.
Here’s UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric:
“Based on UNIFIL’s independent assessment, the peacekeepers have so far confirmed the existence of all the four tunnels close to the Blue Line in northern Israel. After further technical investigations conducted independently in accordance with its mandate, UNIFIL at this stage can confirm that two of the tunnels cross the Blue Line. These constitute violations of UN Security Council resolution 1701. This is a matter of serious concern and UNIFIL’s technical investigations continue.”
UNIFIL has urgently requested the Lebanese Government to look into the existence of the tunnels, which Israel blames on Hamas militants.
Pioneering UN satellite survey raises hopes for restoration of ancient Aleppo
Ground-breaking satellite imaging tools, developed by the UN, have led to the first comprehensive account of the devastation suffered by the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo during years of brutal civil war. It’s hoped that the study can now be used to help begin the reconstruction of one of the world’s most historic places.
Satellite imagery analysts from the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and culture heritage experts from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), worked closely with historians, architects and archaeologists to compile the data.
The technology allowed them to remotely assess the damage immediately following the end of the years-long siege of east Aleppo, and, for the first time, monitor areas rendered inaccessible, due to the difficult security situation and restricted access to the city.
Introducing the report, UNESCO chief, Audrey Azouley, said that the technology provides a “remarkable tool with unmatched precision for documenting and understanding heritage,” which could lead to the “eventual recovery of the city.”
Conor Lenon, UN News