In a press conference on Friday, UN rights chief Volker Türk passionately called for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, emphasizing the critical need for lifesaving relief to reach the distressed enclave.
Türk also demanded the immediate release of hostages taken from Israel, stressing the necessity for a “sustainable” resolution to the dire situation facing those trapped in Gaza.
“Gaza is grappling with scarcity of water and pervasive fear,” Türk conveyed during the briefing in Amman, recounting a harrowing conversation with a colleague who had to flee Israeli bombardments with his family. “His children, aged nine and seven, are grappling with questions he cannot answer: ‘Why is this happening to us? What did we do?'”
The UN relief agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, confirmed on Friday that over 100 of its staff members have lost their lives since the onset of the Israeli bombardment.
Türk’s urgent plea coincided with fresh reports on Friday morning, revealing that a yard at Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital, a refuge for thousands of displaced Palestinians, had been struck by bombardments.
“Put an end to the violence, ensure the safety of humanitarian workers, facilitate secure access for delivering humanitarian assistance to all in need, guarantee access to food, clean water, medical care, and shelter, release the hostages, ensure accountability and justice for perpetrators of serious violations in accordance with international humanitarian law,” insisted the UN rights chief.
Addressing the heinous acts committed by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, Türk underscored that these attacks “should stir outrage in each and every one of us.”