Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Gaza one of world’s ‘most dangerous places’: UN

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has warned that the situation in the Gaza Strip is “getting worse each minute”, describing the strip as one of the most dangerous places in the world.

The UNRWA announced people fleeing Israeli attacks have nowhere safe to turn, as all shelters are already beyond capacity.

“Another wave of displacement is underway in Gaza”, UNRWA said in a post on X, calling the entire Strip “one of the most dangerous places in the world.

“There is nowhere to go as shelters, including [those of] UNRWA, are overflowing.”

“There is no ‘safe’ zone, the entire Gaza Strip has become one of the most dangerous places in the world,” it added.

The UN announced earlier this week that up to 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, around 80 percent of the population, have already been forcibly displaced.

Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, has also stated Wednesday nothing “other than pure madness” could be a justification for Israel’s “massacre of civilians” in Gaza.

In a post on social media accompanied by harrowing video footage of grievously wounded and deceased Palestinian infants and children receiving medical treatment on the floor of a hospital in Gaza, Albanese had this blunt message: “This massacre of civilians must be stopped. There is nothing, absolutely nothing (other than pure madness) that can justify THIS.”

“No more functioning hospitals. No more medications. No more words,” she added.

United Nations human rights chief Volker Turk also warned on Wednesday there was a heightened risk of atrocity crimes in Gaza, urging parties involved to refrain from committing such violations, Reuters reported.

“My humanitarian colleagues have described the situation as apocalyptic. In these circumstances, there is a heightened risk of atrocity crimes,” Turk told reporters in Geneva.

“Measures need to be taken urgently, both by the parties concerned and by all states, particularly those with influence, to prevent any such crimes.”

“Palestinians in Gaza are living in utter, deepening horror,” he added.

He said 1.9 million of the Palestinian enclave’s 2.2 million people had been displaced and were being pushed into “ever-diminishing and extremely overcrowded places in southern Gaza, in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions”.

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