In a definitive stance against recent statements by Israeli ministers and lawmakers, the United States has openly denounced calls for the resettlement of Palestinians out of Gaza. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, voiced this strong opposition during a UN Security Council briefing on the Middle East.
A Firm Rejection of Inflammatory Statements
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted that civilians must not be compelled to leave Gaza, labeling such statements as “irresponsible” and “inflammatory”.
She specifically called out the rhetoric advocating for the destruction of Gaza and the mistreatment of Palestinian detainees, emphasizing that these remarks send a detrimental message to the peace process. However, Thomas-Greenfield also pointed out the silence in certain areas, questioning why some council members have yet to condemn the October 7 attack by Hamas and the ongoing issue of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.
This critical observation suggests a need for a more balanced and comprehensive approach to the conflicts in the region.
The Harrowing Reality in Gaza: A UN Perspective
Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has shed light on the grave situation in Gaza, describing it as a humanitarian crisis of alarming proportions.
During a recent UN Security Council briefing, Griffiths shared his firsthand observations and those of his colleagues, revealing the extent of the devastation in the enclave. Griffiths painted a picture of "utter horror" in Gaza, with scenes difficult to comprehend in their severity.
He recounted incidents of corpses abandoned on roadsides and desperate people, showing evident signs of starvation, stopping trucks in a frantic search for sustenance. His account underlines the dire conditions facing the population, where the struggle for basic necessities has become a daily ordeal.
Shelter, a fundamental human need, has become a luxury in Gaza. Griffiths noted that many residents have been left without homes, forcing them to seek refuge in overcrowded shelters ill-equipped to handle such numbers. The situation in these shelters is becoming increasingly unsustainable, with shortages of food and water exacerbating the risk of famine.
Compounding these challenges is the collapse of the health system in Gaza. Griffiths highlighted the dire state of healthcare, where safe childbirth, routine vaccinations, and the control of infectious diseases have become nearly impossible.
Hospitals, overwhelmed and under-resourced, are now places where people seek shelter in yards rather than receive medical care. Griffiths expressed frustration over the obstacles faced by UN humanitarian efforts. He reported that attempts to send aid convoys to the northern regions of Gaza have been hindered by delays, denials, and dangerous conditions, putting the safety of aid workers at risk.
This difficulty in delivering humanitarian assistance adds another layer to the crisis.
Addressing Violence and the Path to Stability
While the focus remains on Gaza, the ambassador stressed that the violence in the occupied West Bank should not be overlooked.
She reported that at least 340 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the past three months, a statistic that the US unequivocally condemns. In her address, Thomas-Greenfield highlighted the need for reform within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the revitalization of its Security Forces.
She emphasized the importance of these forces for stability in the occupied West Bank, urging Israel to release funds necessary for the PA to maintain its security apparatus. The ambassador concluded her remarks with a vision of peace and coexistence.
She spoke of a future where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side, enjoying equal measures of security, freedom, and dignity. “This is the only way forward,” she asserted, underlining the US commitment to a peaceful resolution in the region.