The United Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) disclosed on Friday that over 100 of its employees have been killed in Gaza during the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, which has persisted for over a month.
The General Commissioner of the agency, Philippe Lazzarini, expressed his profound grief on platform X, stating, “It is confirmed that over 100 of our colleagues from UNRWA, including families, teachers, nurses, and doctors, have been killed in just one month.”
In response to this tragic loss, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a global minute of silence on November 13 at 09:30 Jerusalem time (08:30 GMT) to honor the 99 international organization staff who lost their lives in Israeli attacks amidst the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. The event will be marked by the lowering of flags to half-mast.
A UN spokesperson highlighted the unprecedented nature of this tragedy, noting, “Never before have so many UN staff been killed in a conflict in such a short period since the organization’s founding in 1954.”
Additionally, the United Nations has urged Israel to reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip.
Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), pointed out that the Kerem Shalom facilities are designed for trucks, while the currently used Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is intended for pedestrian traffic.
This has created not only security concerns but also recurrent logistical challenges in Rafah, especially in handling large volumes of relief aid.
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Rola Dashti, has disclosed alarming statistics regarding child fatalities in Gaza.
According to Dashti, the number of children killed in Gaza over a single month has surpassed the total number of children who died in armed conflicts across 22 countries since 2020.
This revelation came during the release of a rapid assessment study by the United Nations Development Programme and ESCWA, titled “Gaza War: Anticipated Social and Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine.”