‘We Don’t Have Humanitarian Operation in Gaza’ – UN Official

UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. (Photo: OCHA)

While the Security Council advanced a resolution demanding a ceasefire on Friday, the US cast a lone ‘no’ vote to block it, despite support by 13 other nations. 

A United Nations official has said its humanitarian efforts in Gaza are on the brink of collapse, stating that aid deliveries have become “erratic” and “undependable.” 

The warning comes as Israeli forces step up strikes on southern Gaza, where thousands of civilians previously fled for safety.

Addressing reporters in a press briefing in Geneva, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths outlined the dire situation in Gaza, saying that plans to protect non-combatants are “in tatters” as Israel’s military moves south.

“We do not have a humanitarian operation in southern Gaza that can be called by that name anymore,” he said on Thursday, adding that Israeli attacks have “made no place safe for civilians in southern Gaza, which had been a cornerstone of the humanitarian plan to protect civilians and thus to provide aid to them. But without places of safety, that plan is in tatters.”

The official went on to say that the UN operation had deteriorated to a “program of opportunism,” lamenting the extreme scarcity of supplies and the inability to deliver aid to large swaths of Gaza. 

“It’s erratic, it’s undependable, and frankly, it’s not sustainable,” Griffiths continued.

Though Israeli officials previously urged Palestinians to evacuate to southern cities in Gaza, recent strikes on the area have triggered “another wave of displacement,” according to Thomas White, the Gaza head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees. 

Around 85% of the enclave’s population has been displaced amid the conflict, or roughly 1.9 million people.

To stress the urgency of the crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later invoked Article 99, a rarely used provision in the UN charter, to warn the Security Council of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. 

While the Security Council advanced a resolution demanding a ceasefire on Friday, the US cast a lone ‘no’ vote to block it, despite support by 13 other nations. 

According to Washington’s deputy UN ambassador, Robert Wood, the US shot down the measure because it was “rushed” and “divorced from reality,” also noting that it failed to include language condemning Hamas.

The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli war on Gaza since October 7 has reached 17,490, including 7,870 children and 6,121 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. 46,480 were wounded.

(RT, PC)

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1 Comment

  1. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, so the old English proverb says – and where the UNSC is stymied because of one Permanent Member’s bullheadedness, there is always the Uniting for Peace Resolution
    This looks like a case for its application – the United States is preventing anything being done, in spite of its bullheadedness costing it dearly and losing it future options and downgrading its interests significantly.

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