Palestinians in Gaza living in 'utter, deepening horror', says UN human rights chief

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of large crowd of people and shelters at Khan Younis college, in southern Gaza, on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)

RAMALLAH: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said on Wednesday (Dec 6) that "Palestinians in Gaza are living in utter, deepening horror," as they "continue to be relentlessly bombarded by Israel and collectively punished."

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Human Rights Day, Türk said that "humanitarian aid is again virtually cut off, as fears of widespread disease and hunger spread."

"Civilians in Gaza continue to be relentlessly bombarded by Israel and collectively punished - suffering death, siege, destruction and deprivation of the most essential human needs such as food, water, lifesaving medical supplies and other essentials on a massive scale.

"Palestinians in Gaza are living in utter, deepening horror," he said, according to Palestinian news agency (WAFA).

Military operations, including bombardment, by Israeli Occupation Forces continue in north, middle and south Gaza, affecting people who have already been displaced multiple times - forced to flee - in search of safety.

No place is safe

Some 1.9 million out of the 2.2 million Palestinians have been displaced and are being pushed into ever-diminishing and extremely overcrowded places in southern Gaza, in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions, according to Turk.

"And humanitarian aid is again virtually cut off, as fears of widespread disease and hunger spread. The catastrophic situation we see unfolding in the Gaza Strip was entirely foreseeable and preventable.

"My humanitarian colleagues have described the situation as apocalyptic," he noted, urging that the international community needs to insist with one voice on a ceasefire, immediately, on human rights and humanitarian grounds.

The Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza City has exceeded its capacity due to the large number of injured people transferred to the facility, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza said in a statement on Wednesday, appealing for international support and protection against Israel's intensified bombardment.

The patients are bleeding to death, Anadolu Agency reported Dr Ashraf al-Qudra said in the statement posted on X.

"We are making every effort to operate as much of the medical complex as possible to receive the wounded," he added.

The medical staff are facing significant challenges and require support as well as protection from international organisations, the spokesman said.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip last Friday (Dec 1) after the end of a weeklong humanitarian pause.

At least 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 43,616 others injured in Israeli relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct 7. - Bernama -WAFA - Anadolu Agency

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Gaza , humanitarian catastrophe , UN


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