In a recent appeal, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged an end to the ongoing violence and a return to dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis in Gaza. The escalating hostilities and their terrifying impact on civilians have underscored the urgent need for a peaceful and long-term political solution. The call for ceasefire was also echoed by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who expressed deep regret over the resumption of military operations in Gaza.
A Climate of Fear and Uncertainty
The UN statement reiterated that "nowhere is safe from attacks" in the war-shattered Gaza. Amidst the chaos, more than 100 protesters gathered at the COP28 U.N. climate summit to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. This plea for peace was made possible by the UAE's decision to allow protests at the annual U.N. conference, despite its typical intolerance for dissent and organized groups.
The War Front
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have commenced a ground operation in southern Gaza, promising an offensive "no less powerful than" its operations in northern Gaza. The IDF disclosed that it has executed 10,000 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict. Meanwhile, the U.S. is working tirelessly to restore peace talks and implement a new ceasefire, according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
All major UN agencies issued a rare joint statement expressing outrage at the civilian death toll in Gaza and calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. The siege of Gaza by Israeli forces has created a dire situation, with the UN leaders emphasizing the need for more food, water, medicine, and fuel to be let into Gaza. As violence continues, thousands are seeking refuge in hospitals, creating serious challenges for medical staff, particularly in ensuring safe childbirth.