UN relief agency renews calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

he UN’s Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA) has again called for a ceasefire in Gaza in view of the high number of civilian casualties and the tense supply situation amid the Israeli bombardment of the coastal strip.

“A humanitarian ceasefire is long overdue,” UNWRA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.

“Without it, more people will be killed, those who are alive will endure further losses, and the once vibrant society will be in grief, forever,” it added.

Lazzarini said he visited a UNRWA-run school in Rafah on the border with Egypt.

“I have just returned from the Gaza Strip. This is the first time I have been allowed in since the beginning of this horrific war, almost four weeks ago,” he said.

“The scale of the tragedy is unprecedented,” he continued.

The UNRWA boss said children there asked him for “a sip of water and a piece of bread”.

“It was one of the saddest days in my humanitarian work,” he added.

Current humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza is far from enough, he said.

“I call once again for urgent fuel deliveries. No fuel has come for nearly one month and this is having a devastating impact on hospitals, bakeries, water plants, and our operations,” Lazzarini said.

Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip and began pounding the densely populated area with airstrikes after Hamas fighters carried out a terrorist attack on Israeli communities on Oct. 7 that left over 1,400 people dead.

Hamas is seen as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza has said that 8,796 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began and 22,219 have been injured.

Meanwhile Israel’s ground offensive in northern Gaza has gathered pace. (dpa/NAN)

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