World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Gaza: Temporary Ceasefire Allows UN to Provide Aid

Temporary ceasefire allows UN to restock water, food, following another school attack

4 August 2014

Amid a seven-hour ceasefire announced by Israel in Gaza, the Unite Nations and aid partners are restocking supplies in schools and other buildings being used as temporary shelters for the nearly 270,000 displaced people throughout the Gaza Strip.

According to its spokesperson, the UN Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is using the time to resupply food, water and other “essentials of life” in the 90 UN shelters in the area. Israel said that it would allow a seven-hour “humanitarian window” starting at 10am local time.

“These people are deeply traumatized and living in fear because we have seen that even a UN safe shelter, and I hate to use the word ‘safe’ because it’s such a misnomer… even they are being hit,” Chris Gunness told UN Radio.

On Sunday, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) killed at least 10 Palestinians in shelling outside the main gate of the UNRWA Boys’ Prep School ‘A’ in the town of Rafah, in southern Gaza. This is the first time that the immediate vicinity of an UNRWA premise has been struck in the past 10 days.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today added her voice to the growing list of condemnations of the attacks, which include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who denounced it as a “moral outrage.”

“Schools in Gaza have become the symbol of an unfolding human tragedy,” Ms. Bokova said in astatement. “The protection of schools cannot wait.”

She equated protection of schools as essential for the protection of civilians, and a pre-condition to start getting the education system back to normal.

At least seven UNRWA schools serving as shelters have been hit resulting in multiple civilian casualties. In total, at least 137 schools have been reported damaged so far.

In May, UNESCO, along with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a note to assist the people monitoring, reporting and working to prevent attacks against schools and hospitals. The Guidance Note provides practical information for the UN and its partners on how to implement aspects of Security Council resolution 1998. Adopted in 2011, the resolution gives the UN a mandate to identify and list the armed forces and groups who attack schools or hospitals, or protected persons in relation to schools and hospitals.

“Keeping schools free from any sort of military use is equally vital,” Ms. Bokova said stressing that students and teachers need to feel safe in their schools.

Since the beginning of the conflict on 7 July, at least 1,777 Palestinians have been killed, about 85 per cent of them civilians, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). That figure includes 393 children and 208 women.

In addition, the UN agency reports that more than 8,000 Palestinians have been injured.

Meanwhile, at least 66 Israelis have been killed, including two civilians and 64 soldiers, as well as one foreign national in Gaza.

On Friday, the UN appealed for $369 million to meet urgent needs in Gaza. UNESCO today said that figure includes $11 million for emergency education needs to improve the safety of the education environment, as well as provide teachers and students psychosocial support.

More than 373,000 children are believed to be in need of psychosocial support, according to the latest figures from OCHA.

Also today, UNESCO condemned the deaths of media workers in Gaza and voiced deep concern over the destruction of media facilities.

“As stipulated by international agreements, journalists must be protected including when reporting from the scene,” Ms. Bokova said in the second of her two statements today.

Rami Rayan, a photographer for the Palestine Network for Press and Media news agency, and Al Aqsa TV cameraman Sameh al-Arya were killed in two rounds of shelling on a market in the Shijaiyah neighbourhood of Gaza on 31 July.

Ahed Zaqout, a presenter on Palestine TV, died one day earlier when the Gaza City building where he lived was shelled.

Mohamed Daher, a journalist with the Al-Resalah newspaper, died on 31 July from injuries suffered when his home was hit in a raid eleven days earlier.

Their names will be included this year on UNESCO’s dedicated webpage for journalists killed in the line of duty.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news