Wed 21 Feb 2024 6:11 pm - Jerusalem Time

Griffiths calls on the G20 to intervene to stop the war and save the people of Gaza

Martin Griffiths, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that half a million people in Gaza are on the brink of famine, and lack the most basic needs of food, water and health care.

In an article, Griffiths said that the deprivation suffered by the people of Gaza is severe and profound, and any amount of aid will not be sufficient for their needs, noting that Israel, as the occupying power in Gaza, was asked to facilitate the arrival of aid, to no avail.

He stressed that entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip had been wiped out, and he appealed to the members of the “Group of 20” on the occasion of their meeting in Brazil to use their political positions and influence to help stop this war and save the people of Gaza, stressing that these members have the ability to make a difference, and he asked them to use it. .

Addressing the group members, Griffiths said, “Your silence and inaction will only lead to more women and children being thrown into open graves in Gaza.”

Griffiths presented a general picture of the tragic situation in Gaza, saying that at the time the “G20” was meeting, the reported death toll there had reached 30,000.

It is unparalleled in its intensity and brutality

He added that what has been unfolding in Gaza for 137 days is unparalleled in its intensity, brutality and scope. Tens of thousands of people were killed, injured or buried under the rubble. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed to the ground. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are living in the harshest conditions with the arrival of winter. Half a million people are on the brink of famine. Basic needs are inaccessible: food, water, health care and toilets. The entire population is stripped of their humanity.

He also said that the atrocities befalling the people of Gaza and the human tragedy they endure are before the world, documented by brave Palestinian journalists, many of whom were killed while doing so, and no one in the world can pretend not to know.

He expressed his hope that this tragic situation would give the foreign ministers meeting in Rio de Janeiro a reason to reflect on what their countries did or did not do to stop this.

A warning of what comes tomorrow

The UN official continued to say that talk about the war in Gaza being ruthless and an example of absolute humanitarian failure is not news. “Instead, allow me, on behalf of my colleagues working in the humanitarian field, to warn you, not only about today, but about what I fear for tomorrow.”

He pointed to the efforts made by humanitarian aid agencies, adding that it is an effort that everyone knows about and no one can claim not to know about it. He stated that 160 workers in these agencies have been killed, yet their work continues to provide food, medical supplies and safe drinking water.

He added that they are doing their work despite security risks, the collapse of law and order, access restrictions and personal tragedies, despite the halting of funding for the largest UN organization in Gaza, and despite deliberate attempts to discredit it.

We demand what is reasonable

He said they were demanding reasonable things: security guarantees, a better humanitarian notification system to reduce risks, telecommunications equipment, the removal of unexploded ordnance, and the use of all possible entry points.

He expressed his despair for the relevant authorities to give them what they need to work, adding that the obstacles they face every step of the way are so enormous that they can only provide the bare minimum.

He said the October 7 attack on Israel is horrific, but it does not justify what is happening to every child, woman and man in Gaza.

No avail

He explained that they had been calling on Israel, as the occupying authority in Gaza, to facilitate the delivery of aid, and had been calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. They were still urging both parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, and they were urging countries that had stopped funding UNRWA. “She decided to rescind her decision, to no avail.


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Griffiths calls on the G20 to intervene to stop the war and save the people of Gaza