News / Middle East

UN Urges Respect of its Gaza Facilities

Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (seen on screen) briefs a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 31, 2014.
Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (seen on screen) briefs a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, at U.N. headquarters in New York, July 31, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

The head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees called on Israel and Hamas militants to respect the inviolability of U.N. premises Thursday, a day after Israeli fire killed 19 civilians sheltering at a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip.  

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl spoke to the U.N. Security Council from Gaza. He strongly condemned the shelling of the school in Jabalya, which housed 3,300 displaced Palestinians who he said had been warned by the Israeli military to flee their homes.

"Speaking to many inhabitants of Gaza yesterday and today I have heard the same messages time and time again.  'If we are not safe in an UNRWA school, we are not safe anywhere in Gaza,' they say.  They add, 'the world has failed us, has failed to protect,'" said Krähenbühl.

Under international law, U.N. operations, personnel and premises are inviolable.

Krähenbühl said UNRWA is sheltering more than 220,000 displaced Palestinians at 85 U.N. schools, which are not equipped to handle such large groups for extended periods of time.  He said families are crowded - 80 persons to each classroom - and the threat of disease is looming.

  • Hajar Muharram, 5, sits in a classroom where the family of seven now live, at a U.N. school, in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (L) attend a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv July 31, 2014.
  • A woman carries a bag of food supplies that she received from a United Nations food distribution center in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 31, 2014.
  • People pray next to the bodies of Palestinians from the al-Silk family during their funeral in Gaza City July 31, 2014.
  • Heygar Jendiyah, left, points to where the family house kitchen once stood, partially destroyed by a previous air strike, as her children Ranin, 10, center, and Helmi, right, listen, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip,
  • An Israeli soldier stands atop an armored vehicle at a staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip July 31, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers carry cases at a staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip July 31, 2014
  • Israeli tanks at a staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip July 31, 2014.

He expressed concern about reports that the Israel Defense Forces have told residents of the Zaytun area of Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Yunis to evacuate their homes.  He said UNRWA does not have the capacity to absorb and provide for more displaced persons.

"Should further large-scale displacement indeed occur, the occupying power, according to international humanitarian law, will have to assume direct responsibility to assist these people," he said.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the council that until a long-term cease-fire is in place, reliable, daily humanitarian pauses are necessary so aid can be distributed, the injured rescued and the dead recovered.

Israel's U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, said Israel is still investigating what happened at the Jabalya school and added that no Israeli soldier intentionally targets civilians.  He disputed U.N. figures that 80 percent of the Palestinian casualties in Gaza have been civilians, saying Israel believes nearly half have been militants.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour called for justice and accountability for the more than 1,300 dead and urged a lifting of the economic blockade on Gaza.

Mansour said, "Because when you put 1.8 million Palestinian civilians in this huge prison, denying them food because they cannot fish in the sea, denying them electricity, denying them safe places, denying them adequate medical facilities, denying them clean water - what are you doing?  Isn't that genocide?"

He said despite the bloodshed, the Palestinian people still want a political resolution to the conflict and a two-state solution so they can live in freedom and dignity.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
August 02, 2014 5:17 AM
Diplomacy internacional community for peace in Palestine and Israel


by: Haji Abass from: Nairobi
August 01, 2014 9:47 AM
United nation is aproject of zaionist.they are directly responsible of this massacer so lethem not fool us.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid