Israel/Palestine: Fighting increasing Humanitarian Crisis & Weakening Gaza’s Economy – Briefing

United Nations published this video item, entitled “Israel/Palestine: Fighting increasing Humanitarian Crisis & Weakening Gaza’s Economy – Briefing” – below is their description.

Lynn Hastings, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council, “Beyond the human tragedy for both Palestinians and Israelis, and the physical damage of eleven days of fighting, the economic impact of the escalation in May has further exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis and severely weakened Gaza’s economy.”

Speaking to the Council via a video link today (28 Jul), Hastings said that International efforts – coordinated by the United Nations – to implement the humanitarian response and stabilize the situation on the ground in Gaza are well underway. Thus far, some 45 million of a requested 95 million dollars has been raised for the consolidated humanitarian flash appeal published by the UN in May.

The Deputy Special Coordinator also said violence continued across the Occupied Palestinian Territory. She underscored that “all perpetrators of violence must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice.”

Hastings also called on Israeli security forces to “ensure the protection of Palestinians, in line with Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.”

The Deputy Special Coordinator also called on the Palestinian Authority to “ensure that the death of Nizar Banat and all allegations of use of disproportionate force against protestors by Palestinian Security Forces are investigated in a thorough, transparent and independent manner and those responsible held to account.”

She continued, “The Palestinian people must be able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assembly. Arbitrary and politically motivated arrests must cease.”

Hastings also remained concerned about the financial situation of UNRWA, and noted that, “As of today, the projected shortfall under its Programme Budget amounts to USD 100 millions.”

She said, “The Agency also faces an imminent cash flow crisis which risks impacting the smooth opening of the school year for half a million girls and boys in Gaza.”

The Deputy Special Coordinator reiterated, “The absence of a fully funded Programme Budget also undermines UNRWA’s capacity to conduct much needed humanitarian and early recovery activities in Gaza.”

She appealed once again to all donors, “including those from the Arab region, to sustain the funding levels of past years and advance disbursements of funds as much as possible to avoid a disruption of essential services and humanitarian aid.”

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