UN expresses concern over Israeli evacuation order in southern Gaza-Xinhua

UN expresses concern over Israeli evacuation order in southern Gaza

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-22 05:15:45

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Thursday expressed concern over the Israeli order for the evacuation of civilians in southern Gaza.

The Israeli military on Wednesday designated a new area covering about 20 percent of central and south of Khan Younis city for immediate evacuation. Prior to the onset of the hostilities, the area was home to about 111,000 people. The area also includes 32 shelters that accommodated more than 141,000 displaced men, women and children, the vast majority of whom were previously displaced from northern Gaza, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He quoted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as saying that access to evacuation information on Khan Younis and other key information is impaired by interruptions in telecommunications and the lack of electricity. Telecommunications are still down in most of Gaza for the eighth day in a row.

Dujarric stressed that no area in Gaza is safe.

Currently, intense fighting, the lack of electricity, limited fuel and disrupted telecommunications severely restrict access to loading points and trucks, as well as the ability to deliver, prioritize, plan and coordinate critical operations -- with civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering that is going on, said the spokesman.

The most helpful thing for the delivery of humanitarian aid in a sustained high volume way would be an immediate humanitarian cease-fire, he said.

The United Nations is focused on trying to get as much aid in as possible, as quickly as possible, he said. "We are working in a highly dangerous situation. More than 135 of our colleagues have paid (with) their lives. We're working in a highly complicated system where different verifications have to go in."

On the health front, only nine out of 36 health facilities are partially functional in the whole of Gaza, all of them are in the south, according to the World Health Organization. The hospitals in the north are still sheltering thousands of displaced people, said the spokesman.

According to a food security analysis issued on Thursday, more than half a million people are facing catastrophic hunger conditions in Gaza.

The analysis, issued by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification and including data from the World Food Programme, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and many other UN agencies, as well as international nongovernmental organizations, also confirmed that the entire population of Gaza of roughly 2.2 million people are in crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity.