Aid official calls for increased global pressure on Israel to work with UN

Aid official calls for increased global pressure on Israel to work with UN | The Hill

Home-owners whose properties were destroyed during the 2014 war between Israel against Hamas and other Palestinian factions demonstrate in Gaza City on September 7, 2023 outside the offices of the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), calling for the reconstruction of their homes. (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP) (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), called for increased global pressure on Israel to work with the U.N.

In a Friday post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Lazzarini referenced a Thursday order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to Israel to facilitate humanitarian aid getting into Gaza. The order also noted that there is no substitute for crossings via land for supplies.  

“Member states should exert more pressure to implement the ICJ order,” Lazzarini said in his post. “Those who stopped funding UNRWA should reconsider their decision to allow the Agency to fulfill its mandate including help averting famine.”

Last week, Cindy McCain, executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), said that there is an urgent need for food in Gaza amid the war occurring there.

“[O]ur obstacles are many,” McCain said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports”. “We have to be cleared at every level, the Israelis block the — whether or not we’re cleared … drivers are cleared, we don’t have the access on the roads. We need clear, unfettered access to get in at scale, so we can feed the millions of people who are on the verge of famine.”

The ICJ’s order followed a plea from South Africa for the U.N. high court to do more after an earlier ruling from January has not bettered the current drastic humanitarian situation in Gaza. In their recent order, the ICJ said that Gaza’s situation has gone downhill since January.

“The Court observes with regret that, since then, the catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further,” the ICJ said in the order, “in particular in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subjected.”

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