The chief of the main UN agency operating in Gaza, Palestine told the UN Security Council on Monday, that the entire population of Gaza is being dehumanized, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out a ceasefire, saying “this is a time for war.”
Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) told the Security Council that thousands of children killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the past three weeks “cannot be collateral damage.”
The UN has been calling for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow deliveries of aid for more than 2 million civilians trapped with scarce supplies of food, water and medical equipment, and for the safe release of 238 hostages that Israel believes are being held by Hamas, the militant group that controls the enclave.
“An immediate humanitarian ceasefire has become a matter of life and death for millions,” Lazzarini said.
The director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Lisa Doughten, told the Security Council that the “scale of the horror” being experienced by Gazans is “hard to convey.”
“We simply do not have enough essential supplies to provide for the survival of internally displaced people at this scale,” Doughten said.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear on Monday that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire, as it responds with unrelenting force to Hamas’ October 7 terror attacks, which killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and saw hundreds taken hostage.
IDF troops advanced more than two miles into the Strip on Monday even as Israeli fighter jets continued bombarding Gaza with artillery rounds, mortars and what appeared to be guided munitions.
The Israeli military said Monday its troops killed four prominent Hamas operatives as part of its expanded ground operations in Gaza.
Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesperson said Israel was not successful in entering Gaza “except in some limited areas” and described the humanitarian situation in the enclave as “disastrous.”
Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 8,260 people, mostly civilians, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws sources from the Hamas-controlled enclave. More than 70% those killed are from vulnerable populations, including children, women and elderly individuals, the ministry said Monday.
Among the dead are 64 UN aid workers, the highest number of UN aid workers killed in a conflict anywhere in the world in such a short period of time, according to UNRWA’s Lazzarini.
The most recent death was a man called Samir who was killed alongside his wife and eight children, Lazzarini told the UN Security Council.
Share this story to friends
“Those who are alive, have, for the most part, lost relatives, friends, neighbors and are displaced like the majority of Gazans,” he said, adding that despite the threat to their lives, they continue to “work tirelessly.”