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UN calls for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ to deliver aid to Gaza

The United Nations on Thursday call for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Hamas to allow aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza arose from the war between Israel and Hamas that broke out earlier this month. On October 7, Hamas – a Gaza-based militant group – launched a massive attack on Israel. In retaliation, Israel besieged and launched airstrikes on the blockaded territory, taking a heavy toll on Gaza’s 2.4 million Palestinians.

Israeli missiles severely damaged Gaza’s roads, and the people of Gaza were left without food, water, medicine and other basic necessities for almost two weeks. On Tuesday, at least 500 Palestinians were killed in a deadly explosion at al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City, for which neither Israel nor Gaza took credit. Israel continued to launch airstrikes on Gaza on Thursday.

At a press conference in Egypt, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ceasefire to ensure aid can be delivered and distributed safely to Gaza.

“The disease is spreading. Supplies are dwindling. People are dying,” he said. “Civilians in Gaza are in desperate need of basic services and supplies – and for that, we need rapid and unhindered humanitarian access. »

Israel said it would not block the delivery of food, water and medicine to Gaza. Earlier this week, a US-based humanitarian organization delivered 47,000 hot meals to Palestinians in Gaza, according to NPR.

Dr Richard Brennan, World Health Organization (WHO) regional emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, told CNN that the United States’ agreement with Israel and Egypt to provide aid to Gaza is a “start,” but that the aid operation will face challenges, such as damaged roads and infrastructure.

Guterres said that El Arish Airport and Rafah Crossing, located on the border of Egypt and the Gaza Strip, are theThese are “lifelines for the people of Gaza”. Egypt sent work crews to Gaza on Thursday to repair roads to ensure aid could get through the crossing, according to NBC News.

WHO, in partnership with Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent societies, has trucks ‘loaded and ready to go’ to deliver aid and supplies to Gaza once the border crossing opens, which could happen Friday.

The war between Israel and Hamas has become the the deadliest of the five wars in Gaza, with more than 4,000 dead on both sides. More than a million people were displaced as they fled their homes ahead of Israel’s invasion to eliminate Hamas. Since the start of the war, thousands of people have been injured, including civilians and journalists, and dozens more are held captive.

Guterres called on Israel to allow immediate and unrestricted access of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, as well as on Hamas to release the hostages.

“The Palestinian people have legitimate and deep grievances after 56 years of occupation. But as serious as these grievances are, they cannot justify terrorist attacks,” he said. “And as appalling as these attacks are, they cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. My two humanitarian appeals are essential in themselves.


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