Sat 09 Dec 2023 8:40 am - Jerusalem Time
Guterres urges international community to do everything possible to end the plight of people of Gaza
UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to do everything possible to end the suffering of the people in Gaza.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations said at the emergency meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue, "The people of Gaza are standing on the brink of the abyss. The international community must do everything possible to end their plight."
“There is a high risk of complete collapse of the humanitarian support system in Gaza, with devastating consequences,” the senior UN official said.
Guterres warned that "there is no effective protection for civilians."
He said that more than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israeli military operations, including more than 4,000 women and 7,000 children. There were reports that tens of thousands were injured, and many more were missing, perhaps under the rubble.
He added, "The air, land, and sea attacks are intense, continuous, and widespread. To date, they have reportedly struck 339 educational facilities, 26 hospitals, 56 health care facilities, 88 mosques, and 3 churches."
Reports indicate that more than 60 percent of Gaza's housing stock has been destroyed or damaged--about 300,000 homes and apartments. About 85 percent of the population has been forced to leave their homes, according to the Secretary-General.
Guterres also warned that Gazans are running out of food.
The World Food Program was quoted as warning of a real danger of widespread hunger and famine.
He said that 97 percent of families in northern Gaza do not eat enough food. In the south, the percentage of displaced people is 83 percent.
He added that half of the population of the north and more than a third of the displaced in the south suffer from hunger.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations said, "The health system in Gaza is collapsing while needs are increasing."
He added that at least 286 health care workers were killed. “Hospitals have been subjected to heavy bombardment. Only 14 out of 36 hospitals are still functioning. Of these hospitals, three are limited to providing basic first aid, while the remaining hospitals provide only partial services.”