Provided in charge of subordinate relief operations To the United Nations in Gaza Martin Griffiths gave a bleak and tragic picture of conditions in the Strip, saying his colleagues saw “scenes of absolute horror” there.
Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs, quoted the UN staff who were able to go to northern Gaza as saying that what they saw was indescribably horrific, as bodies were left lying in the roads, and people who showed clear signs of starvation stopped trucks searching for anything. They can get it to survive.
Griffiths stated that humanitarian relief facilities were subjected to Israeli targeting, which led to exposing humanitarian aid workers to grave danger, adding that his team’s efforts to send humanitarian convoys to the northern Gaza Strip were met with delays and rejection amid impossible circumstances, while endangering the safety of relief workers.
He explained that many people no longer have homes to return to, as shelters in the Strip are housing a much larger number of people than they can accommodate.
Griffiths pointed out that shelter centers are overflowing, and water and food are about to run out, noting that 134 facilities belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)UNRWA) It was bombed and 148 UN employees were killed.
He said the health system was in a state of collapse, as women could not give birth safely, children could not be vaccinated, infectious diseases were on the rise, and people were seeking shelter in hospital courtyards.
Griffiths expressed his dissatisfaction with the evacuation order issued by the Israeli army, stressing that the air strikes were concentrated in the places where civilians were asked to go, adding that there is no safe place in Gaza, and a decent human life is almost impossible.
For her part, Ilse Brands-Keres, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Human Rights, stated that the mass forced displacement began on October 12, after the Israeli administration issued an order to evacuate the northern part of Gaza.
Keres stressed the need not to prevent the return of Palestinians who were forcibly expelled from Gaza, noting that a strong guarantee must be provided to enable these people to return to their homes.
Since last October 7, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza, leaving 23,708 martyrs and 60,050 injured, most of them children and women, massive destruction of infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.