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WHO’s Desperate Pleas For Gaza Humanitarian Ceasefire As Crisis Deepens

The WHO has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire so health supplies and fuel can be delivered safely throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip
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For people in the Gaza Strip, the situation is desperate. It will become catastrophic without the safe and continuous passage of fuel and health supplies, and additional humanitarian assistance, says the World Health Organisation while calling for an immediate “humanitarian ceasefire” for the safe delivery of health supplies and fuel throughout the Gaza Strip.

The WHO said it remains unable to distribute fuel and essential, life-saving health supplies to major hospitals in northern Gaza due to lack of security guarantees. 

The WHO has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire so health supplies and fuel can be delivered safely throughout the Gaza Strip.

“Some of the facilities waiting for WHO supplies and fuel in northern Gaza include Al-Shifa hospital, where bed occupancy is already close to 150%. Last night, the Indonesian Hospital was forced to shut down some critical services due to lack of fuel, and is now running with limited functionality. The Turkish Friendship Hospital, the only oncology hospital in the Gaza Strip, remains partially functional due to lack of fuel, putting around 2000 cancer patients at risk.”

The WHO said, in addition to the hospitals that have had to close due to damage and attacks, six hospitals across the Gaza Strip have already shut down due to lack of fuel. “Unless vital fuel and additional health supplies are urgently delivered into Gaza, thousands of vulnerable patients risk death or medical complications as critical services shut down due to lack of power. These include 1000 patients dependent on dialysis, 130 premature babies who need a range of care, and patients in intensive care or requiring surgery who depend on a stable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to stay alive.”

“Yesterday, WHO, with support from UNRWA, delivered 34,000 liters of fuel to four major hospitals in southern Gaza and the Palestine Red Crescent Society to sustain its ambulance services. However, this is only enough to keep ambulances and critical hospital functions running for a little over 24 hours.”

“Some of WHO’s medicines and health supplies have already been delivered to four key hospitals in southern Gaza, as well as to the Palestine Red Crescent Society for distribution to two of its health facilities and ambulance crews. WHO teams delivering the supplies say health staff were so relieved to have replenishments, they took boxes of supplies off the trucks and straight into operating theatres, where doctors have been performing surgeries without anesthesia or other basic surgical supplies.”

Earlier Secretary-General UN told Security Council that Hamas attacks cannot justify collect punishment of Palestinian people. “The situation in the Middle East grows more dire by the hour, with the war in Gaza raging and risking spiralling throughout the region,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned the Security Council Tuesday, calling for “humanitarian aid without restrictions” and an “immediate ceasefire.”

“At a crucial moment like this, it is vital to be clear on principles — starting with the fundamental principle of respecting and protecting civilians,” Guterres said, during a day-long ministerial debate on the Palestinian question, amid an escalation of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.  “Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”

While recalling his unequivocal condemnation of the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel, he called for the immediate release of the hostages. He stressed the need for humanitarian aid to be delivered without restrictions, adding:  “To ease epic suffering, make the delivery of aid easier and safer, and facilitate the release of hostages, I reiterate my appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

“The attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum, he noted, with the Palestinian people being subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation, during which they saw their land devoured by settlements; their economy stifled; their homes demolished; and their hopes for a political solution vanishing.  

He said, however, the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.  

“And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” he said, emphasizing:  “Even war has rules.”  At this critical hour, he appealed to everyone to pull back from the brink before the violence claims even more lives and spreads even farther.”

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