•   Saturday, 15 Jun, 2024

MSF urges UN Security Council to take immediate and sustained action to enforce ceasefire in the Gaza strip

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KATHMANDU, Dec 5: In a passionate plea to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for immediate and sustained action to enforce a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The open letter released on Monday by MSF International President Christos Christou emphasizes the urgency of ending the deadly attacks on Palestinian civilians by the Israeli government and facilitating the unimpeded entry of crucial humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The head of the international, independent medical humanitarian organization acknowledges the temporary respite provided by a seven-day truce but expresses deep concern that the period was not sufficient to organize and deliver adequate aid to meet the pressing needs of the people in Gaza. As the truce concludes and battle resumes, the fear of a return to widespread death and destruction looms large.

The letter denounces Israel's disregard for the protection of Gaza's medical facilities, with hospitals being targeted and turned into ruins. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented 181 attacks on healthcare, resulting in 22 fatalities and 59 injuries to health workers.

Christou has pointed out the exhaustion and despair among medical staff who have faced unimaginable challenges, including forced evacuations and the difficult choice between their lives and those of their patients.

The MSF President emphasizes the severe limitations faced by the organization's international emergency team in Gaza due to casualties, destroyed infrastructure, lack of essential supplies, and ongoing insecurity. The letter details the tragic loss of MSF staff, reflecting the broader humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The letter accuses Israel of enforcing a "complete siege" on Gaza since October 7, blocking the entry of water, food, fuel, and medicinal supplies for the 2.3 million people trapped in the enclave. Collective punishment of an entire population is deemed a war crime under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and Christou contends that Israel's actions disgrace the fundamental principle of humanity.

Furthermore, Christou describes the devastating impact on Gaza, with over 15,000 people killed, half of whom are children, and tens of thousands injured. The collapse of the health system and forced displacement of at least 1.7 million people add to the grim reality faced by civilians in Gaza.

MSF has called for a sustained ceasefire to prevent further civilian casualties and enable the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid. The organization also urges the establishment of an independent mechanism to oversee humanitarian supplies into Gaza and the implementation of secure medical evacuation routes for severe injury cases.

The MSF President makes a stark plea for the UNSC to take decisive action to prevent further carnage, emphasizing the need for a choice between issuing half-hearted calls and fulfilling the international peace and security mandate to halt the atrocities in Gaza. It has also urged world leaders to recognize the inhumane and indefensible situation in Gaza and act to uphold shared humanity.

 


Source: myRepublica
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