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UN Issues Aid Demands

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24 December 2023, Sunday Telegraph

GAZA STRIP: Fighting is raging on between Israel and Hamas as the UN Security Council approved a much-delayed resolution to boost aid to the besieged Palestinian territory where civilians are struggling to find food.

The Hamas-run health ministry said more than 410 people had been killed in Israeli bombardment over 48 hours, including 16 in a strike on Friday on the Gaza City district of Jabalia.

Four members of one family, including a girl, died in another strike on a civilian vehicle in Rafah in southern Gaza, the ministry said. An AFP video showed the impact had splayed the vehicle’s roof, leaving the wreckage blackened and bloodstained.

“The Jeep was hit. Five minutes later people gathered and a second attack took place,” witness Hamada Abu Taha said.

On Friday, following diplomatic wrangling, the Security Council finally adopted a resolution that “demands” all sides in the conflict allow the “safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale”.

The UN resolution urged the creation of “conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities” but did not call for an immediate end to fighting.

Israel ally the United States, which earlier this month blocked a vote calling for a ceasefire, abstained along with Russia, and the watered-down text passed with 13 votes in favour.

It came after the UN’s World Food Programme warned that Gaza’s population is at a “high risk of famine”.

The war began on October 7 when Hamas gunmen broke through Gaza’s militarised border and killed around 1140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Palestinian militants also abducted about 250 people, 129 of whom remain in Gaza according to Israeli authorities.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel launched a relentless bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, where 20,057 people have been killed, according to Hamas figures.

Most of the dead are women and children, Hamas officials say. The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called the council’s resolution “a step in the right direction”, but said it “must be accompanied by massive pressure for an immediate ceasefire”.

But Hamas in a statement described it as “an insufficient measure that does not respond to the catastrophic situation created by the Zionist (Israeli) war machine”.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said after the vote that “the way Israel is conducting this offensive is creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian aid inside Gaza”.

The fighting has displaced 1.9 million Gazans according to UN figures.

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Article source: Sunday Telegraph | 24.12.23

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000