Tension escalates in the midnight when WHO Chief shares the news of disconnection with the staff in Gaza. After multiple raids in the past day, Israel cut off internet connection in the Gaza Strip. Earlier, Israel signaled a massive invasion into the Strip before carrying out a full-fledged raid with jets and drones. The intent behind this was to identify the potential hideouts of the Hamas militants so that they could assemble strategic positions for their upcoming ‘ground invasion’.
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Yesterday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) notified on their social media handle, X, that 53 of their colleagues were killed in Gaza. UNRWA is one of the most prominent UN programs. It was functional from 1950 as a subsidiary organ of UNGA that propagates human development among Palestinian refugees.
As the ground operations in the Strip intensified on Friday night, around 2.3 million people faced a complete shutdown on the territory’s communication and contact with the outside world. This cutoff indicated that the further killings and casualties would now take time to come under light. Heavy bombardments from the incessant airstrikes on the region completely disrupted the major means of communications.
WHO Chief Flags Humanitarian Crisis In Gaza
Around 1:11 AM of the 28th October, the WHO Chief takes to his social media handle to announce that the organization is wholly disconnected with its ground staff, and that any further updates on the ongoing situation or their health will be tough to know. He shared that the ‘safety and the immediate health risks’ of the ‘vulnerable patients’ now hangs in loom.
The WHO Chief who bears the username of @DrTedros posted on the platform – X (earlier, Twitter) about his grave concerns. He urged for an ‘immediate protection of all civilians’ and flagged for ‘full humanitarian access’. Similarly, UNICEF’s executive director, Catherine Russell also shared about the lost contact with the staff on the ground in the Gaza Strip. Russell brought safety concerns for the endangered lives of 1 million children there.
More than 7,000 Palestinians have died since the launch of the attack. The current scenario does not reflect that the war will cease anytime soon. The United Nations General Assembly, or the UNGA proposed an emergency resolution for an ‘immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce’ culminating in the halt of ‘hostilities’ in Gaza, requiring an end to the Israel-Hamas war.
- The body of 193 members adopted the proposed resolution by a vote margin of 120-14.
- There are 45 abstentions from the proposal.
- Abstentations: India, UK, Australis, Ukraine, Canada, and others.
- Vote Against: Israel, United States, and 12 others
- The Palestinian ambassador to the UN – Riyad Mansour termed the UNGA ‘more courageous’ and ‘more principled’ than the UNSC but failed to reach an agreement even after four attempts.
- Meanwhile, Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. expressed his disappointment upon the adoption of the resolution.
- He reiterated that Israel’s operations would not stop until it destroys its enemy, Hamas, and ‘root them out of their tunnels and subterranean city of terror’.
Earlier in the day, Wael Al-Dahdouh, a chief journalist of Al-Jazeera, did not stop with his live reporting amid the heavy Israeli airstrikes. Twelve of his family members were killed in an airstrike at a refugee camp in central Gaza. Later, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also confirmed the same. This incident comes at a time when the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) claims that the current conflict in the region is ‘the deadliest for journalists since 1992’.
After the UNGA’s resolution, Norway said that the demand for a ceasefire in the resolution was needed. Moreover, the country is ‘happy’ to have voted in favor of the resolution. If we believe the reports, the Defense Secretary of the US made a stance to safeguard civilians while on a call with its Israeli counterpart. The Secretary General of the United Nations, like the WHO Chief, took to his X handle to urge for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in the region.