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Palestinian death toll rises to 15,899

UN chief alarmed by resumption of hostilities in Gaza

Published : 05 Dec 2023, 01:49

  DF News Desk
A man carries a body of a victim after an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Dec. 4, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Khaled Omar.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is alarmed by the resumption of hostilities between Israel and Palestinians after a short pause, said his spokesman on Monday, reported Xinhua.

The secretary-general is extremely alarmed by the resumption of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups in Gaza over the weekend, including rocket fire toward Israel from Gaza and the renewal of ground operations and intensified airstrikes by the Israel Defence Forces in southern Gaza, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.

Guterres calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. The United Nations continues to appeal to Israeli forces to avoid further action that would exacerbate the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and to spare civilians from more suffering. Civilians, including health workers, journalists and UN personnel, and civilian infrastructure must be protected at all times, said the statement.

"The secretary-general reiterates the need for unimpeded and sustained humanitarian aid flow to meet the needs of the people throughout the (Gaza) Strip. For people ordered to evacuate, there is nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on," it said.

Guterres also remains gravely concerned about the escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank, including intensified Israeli security operations, high numbers of fatalities and arrests, spiking settler violence and attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, it said.

The secretary-general reiterates his call for a sustained humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza and the unconditional and immediate release of all remaining hostages, said the statement.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll has risen to 15,899 as a result of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, the Hamas-run health ministry said Monday.

Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesman of the ministry, said during a press conference in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, that the number of injured people rose to more than 42,000, while 70 percent of the victims were children and women.

Al-Qedra accused Israel of escalating its targeting of hospitals and health facilities, noting that it destroyed 56 health institutions, arrested 35 medical personnel, and rendered the health system in the Gaza Strip completely incapacitated.

Al-Qedra called on the United Nations and the World Health Organization to protect hospitals and health and humanitarian teams and to provide safe passage for the entry of medical supplies and fuel and the exit of the wounded.

Since Oct. 7, Israel has been waging a large-scale war against Hamas after the latter launched an unprecedented attack on the Israeli towns.