The United Nations has called for an immediate renewal of the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has expressed deep concern for the safety and well-being of the people in Gaza, following the resumption of military operations by Israel against Hamas.
Griffiths emphasized the dire situation faced by civilians, highlighting their fear and the lack of safe havens in the region. This call for a ceasefire comes as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the expansion of its operations into the southern part of Gaza, an area previously designated as a shelter for civilians.
Humanitarian Aid and the Need for Peace
The brief pause in fighting prior to the resumption of combat operations had allowed for a limited amount of humanitarian aid to reach those in need in Gaza. However, Griffiths stressed that the current conditions, marked by scarce food and water supplies, are unsustainable.
He reflected on the seven-day pause in fighting as a crucial period that demonstrated the positive impact of a ceasefire and the necessity of peace for humanitarian relief efforts. “The situation in Khan Younis today is a shocking reminder of what happens when they don’t," the relief chief said.
The situation in Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza, was specifically mentioned by Griffiths as a distressing example of the current crisis. On Friday, the IDF identified Khan Younis as a "fighting zone," urging residents to evacuate immediately.
This declaration coincided with the IDF's strikes on what they termed "terror targets" in the city. Griffiths called for immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, emphasizing the urgent need for a humanitarian ceasefire and a halt to the fighting.
He also highlighted the importance of protecting civilians and preserving essential infrastructure that sustains life in the region. The United Nations' plea underscores the critical need for a ceasefire and enhanced aid delivery in Gaza.
As the conflict intensifies, the international community's role in advocating for and ensuring the protection of civilians and the facilitation of humanitarian aid becomes increasingly vital.