UNDP outcry: Gaza compound shelling sparks international outrage. In a recent statement, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) expressed its profound distress following a shelling incident at a United Nations compound in Gaza City.
This event has tragically resulted in a significant number of casualties, underscoring the escalating humanitarian crisis in the region.
The Devastating Impact of Conflict
The compound, previously managed by the UNDP's Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, had been a haven until its evacuation on October 13.
UN staff vacated the premises, leaving it vulnerable to the ongoing conflict in the area. Reports indicate that the shelling caused numerous deaths and injuries, marking a devastating escalation in the violence that has gripped the region.
On November 6, the UNDP reported that hundreds of people seeking refuge had entered the compound. There are indications that this number has significantly increased since then. The compound's strategic importance and its role as a shelter make this attack particularly alarming, highlighting the dire situation of civilians caught in the crossfire.
"The shelling has reportedly resulted in a significant number of deaths and injuries,” it said. “On 6 November UNDP reported that several hundred people seeking refuge had entered the compound, and there are indications that this number has since increased significantly,” it added.
A Call for Humanity and Law
In the wake of this tragedy, the UNDP has issued a strong statement: “The ongoing tragedy of death and injury to civilians ensnared in this conflict is unacceptable and must stop. Civilians, civilian infrastructure, and the inviolability of UN facilities, must be respected and protected at all times.
International humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution, must be respected and upheld”. This plea emphasizes the urgent need for all parties to respect and protect civilians and their infrastructure.
The UNDP's call underscores the necessity of adherence to international humanitarian law, particularly the principles of distinction (differentiating between combatants and non-combatants), proportionality (avoiding excessive force), and precaution (minimizing civilian harm).
As the situation continues to unfold, the international community watches with apprehension. The UNDP's statement is not only a report of a tragic event but also a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges in upholding human rights and international law in times of conflict.