United Nations: No safe place in Gaza

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the Palestinian Territories warned on Thursday that “there is no safe place in Gaza” due to the Israeli airstrikes focused on the region since the Hamas attack on October 7th.

In a statement, Lynn Hastings emphasized that the “advance warnings” issued by the Israeli army to residents to evacuate the areas they intend to target in the northern part of the sector “make no difference.”

She added, “There is no safe place in Gaza.”

The UN official pointed out that the Israeli army “continues to warn the people of Gaza that those who stay in their homes are putting themselves in danger.”

She noted that “in some cases, (the Israeli army) encourages people to head to a humanitarian area in the al-Mawasi area to the west of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.”

She affirmed that “the United Nations intends to provide assistance to those in need where they are”.

The Israeli army has repeatedly urged residents of Gaza, in Arabic, through military spokespersons, to leave and head to the “humanitarian area in the al-Mawasi region where humanitarian aid will be provided when needed.”

Hastings said, “For those who cannot leave, either because they have nowhere to go or are physically unable to move, advance warnings make no difference.”

She continued, “When evacuation routes are bombed, when people in the north and south are exposed to acts of war, when essential conditions for survival are unavailable, and when there is no guarantee of return, people are left with impossible choices.”

She reminded that “armed conflicts, wherever they occur, are governed by international humanitarian law. This means that civilians must be protected and have the essential conditions to survive, whether they choose to move or stay.”

She added, “This also means that all hostages must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Hamas launched its most devastating attack in the history of the Israeli state on October 7th, infiltrating Israeli areas and resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 people, most of whom were civilians who died on the first day of the attack. According to Israeli authorities, Hamas is holding over 200 people, including foreigners.

In response, Israel has carried out intensive and violent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since October 7th, resulting in the deaths of 6,546 Palestinians, including 2,704 children, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Health in Gaza on Wednesday.

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