During Israeli air raids, in retaliation for the massacre carried out by Hamas, 11 UN staff members have been killed.
UN statements on victims in Gaza
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed the deaths of 11 UNRWA employees since the start of the fighting. In addition, 30 students from the same agency were reported dead, and another eight were injured.
Jennifer Austin, deputy director of UNRWA, listed some of the victims: five teachers, a gynecologist, an engineer, a counselor and three support staff.
The agency expressed its pain for these losses and demanded the protection of its personnel and civilians during the clashes.
Mass displacement and clashes between Israel and Hamas
More than 250,000 people have left their homes in Gaza, mostly taking refuge in UNRWA-run schools. The war between Israel and Hamas has now lasted five days, with a death toll of more than 1,200.
Israel has intensified its attacks in Gaza in response to the actions of Hamas. Omer Tishler, senior commander of the Israeli Air Force, stressed that they are not attacking civilians but admitted that the precision of the attacks has varied.
With the war ongoing, Israel has cut off essential supplies to Gaza, and access from Egypt was closed following shelling near the border area.
International statements regarding the situation in Gaza
Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN, called for the protection of civilians and respect for international law. He reported that some 220,000 Palestinians are taking refuge in UNRWA facilities in Gaza and stressed that these places should not be military targets.
It has previously been shown that Hamas uses UNWRA infrastructure to store weapons and launch attacks against Israel. Despite this, the UN continues to assist in Gaza and calls for unrestricted humanitarian access.
From the White House, spokesman John Kirby commented that the United States is in dialogue with Israel and Egypt to ensure safe passage for civilians in Gaza. He highlighted the need to protect civilians in armed conflicts.
Critical conditions in Gaza
The situation in Gaza, home to 2.3 million inhabitants, is worsening. Large urban areas are in ruins, and people are seeking shelter. Furthermore, the lack of electricity aggravates the crisis, as the only power plant has exhausted its fuel.
The Gaza Civil Defense Department indicates the shortage of rescue equipment and the difficulty in accessing areas affected by shelling and damage to roads.
Hasan Jabar, a journalist, expressed fear following the deaths of fellow journalists in recent attacks. “There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said.