Gaza: UN humanitarian agencies call for end to violence hampering their work
United Nations humanitarian agencies in the occupied Palestinian territory have called for an immediate end to the violence in Gaza, which is seriously hampering their ability to deliver aid.
“The upsurge of violence, which has taken the lives of innocent civilians, is also putting our workers on the ground at serious risk,” the agencies said in a statement over the weekend, voicing extreme alarm at the deteriorating security situation but stressing their determination to soldier on with their mission.
Last week, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Alvaro de Soto voiced concern at escalating factional intra-Palestinian violence and called on all parties to halt clashes, refrain from acts endangering civilians, and resume without delay talks for a national unity government with a realistic and positive platform regarding the basic principles of the peace process with Israel.
In their statement the agencies said it “is becoming extremely difficult for us to fulfill our humanitarian mandates to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. The implications of this for a population already facing extreme hardship are grave. We remain determined to continue with our humanitarian work.”
“We call for an immediate end to the violence, respect by all parties for the human rights of the population in Gaza and we condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of women, children and other unarmed civilians. We appeal to the parties to refrain from any action which endangers civilian life and which prevents us from fulfilling our humanitarian responsibilities,” they added.
The statement was signed by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF), the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Office of the UN Special Co-ordinator (UNSCO).