Lynn Hastings, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator of the occupied Palestinian territory, said that the Israeli aggression on Gaza has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, generated by nearly 14 years of blockade and recurrent hostilities.
‘The ceasefire must be solidified with all avoiding provocation. There must be a political horizon with the root causes of continued conflict being addressed,’’ said Hastings.
He called for ensuring support to continue addressing needs that already existed, including those arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Hastings said the humanitarian community was ‘’working hard to bring in essential items, including food, medicine and fuel. This week, I will be releasing almost $US18 million from the oPt Humanitarian Fund and the Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York will release an additional $4 million to restore people’s access to basic services, such as healthcare and water.’’
‘’Several locations that previously were key to providing basic services have been destroyed or damaged, including a medical laboratory that was testing for COVID-19,’’ said the UN official. ‘’Water sanitation pipelines have been damaged, threatening disease. The only primary healthcare centre in the north – which had the best rate of vaccination administration – has been damaged to an extent that they are no longer able to service the community – all during a global pandemic.’’
‘’The potential of this coastal area is immense; its economy must be allowed to fully function. Gaza must open-up and be reconnected to the rest of Palestine, including East Jerusalem. I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to revitalize serious dialogue to achieve a just and lasting solution for all.’’