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21 February 2024

HomeLatest NewsUNRWA backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza: UN chief  

UNRWA backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza: UN chief  

UNRWA backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza: UN chief

UNRWA backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza: UN chief  

NEW YORK: (Web Desk) The United Nations Security Council reviewed the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) provisional ruling on genocide allegations, and the UN chief briefed the top UN committee on Palestinian rights, stressing that the relief agency, UNRWA, is the “backbone” of humanitarian operations in Gaza.

The Security Council meeting discussed the crucial work of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and the international effort to prevent violence from spiralling further.

“UNRWA is the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Palestinian Rights Committee, appealing to all Member States to guarantee the continuity of the agency’s lifesaving work.

The UN chief said “the ongoing conflict and relentless bombardment by Israeli forces across Gaza have resulted in killings of civilians and destruction at a pace and scale unlike anything we have witnessed in recent years.”

“The death, destruction, displacement, hunger, loss and grief in Gaza over the last 120 days are a scar on our shared humanity and conscience,” the Secretary-General said.

Addressing the Security Council, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said “decisions to withhold funds from UNRWA must be revoked.”

“To put it bluntly and simply: our humanitarian response for the Occupied Palestinian Territory is completely dependent on UNRWA being adequately funded and operational,” the UN relief chief said, reiterating demands for a ceasefire and compliance with international humanitarian law.

South African Ambassador Mathu Joyini said the events of the past few months in Gaza have illustrated that Israel is acting contrary to its international law obligations, including those in terms of the Genocide Convention. The ICJ’s recent order on South Africa’s request for provisional measures in its case against Israel determined that its actions are “plausibly genocidal”.

Ambassador Mathu Joyini of South Africa addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

These measures are directly binding on Israel, she said, adding that there is clearly no credible basis for Israel to continue to claim that its military actions are in full compliance with international law.

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