UN chiefs reject unilateral proposals to create ‘safe zones’ in Gaza The heads of numerous United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organisations have said that they would not take part in Gaza’s “safe zones” declared by only one side of the conflict, AFP reports.
“As humanitarian leaders, our position is clear: We will not participate in the establishment of any ‘safe zone’ in Gaza that is set up without the agreement of all the parties,” they said in a joint statement.
“Under the prevalent conditions, proposals to unilaterally create ‘safe zones’ in Gaza risk creating harm for civilians, including large-scale loss of life, and must be rejected.”
The statement, signed by nearly a dozen heads of UN agencies — including humanitarian affairs, human rights, migration, refugees, children, and health — highlighted that the “intense hostilities and large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure” had already displaced nearly 1.6 million people in Gaza.
“None of the humanitarian organisations we represent has been involved in preparing for the arrival of displaced people in any prospective ‘safe zone’ — or ‘humanitarian zone’ — in Gaza,” the statement said.
The organisations were all committed to providing assistance and protection, they said, but warned that “without the right conditions, concentrating civilians in such zones in the context of active hostilities can raise the risk of attack and additional harm.”
28 minutes ago Gaza telecoms out of service as fuel runs out All telecom services in the Gaza Strip have gone down as all energy sources sustaining the network have been depleted, Gaza’s main telecommunications companies Paltel and Jawwal said in a statement, Reuters reports.
36 minutes ago Israeli commandos combing through Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital: official Israeli commandos are searching through every building and every floor of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital while hundreds of patients and medical staff remain in the complex, an Israeli military official was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“The operation is shaped by our understanding that there is well-hidden terrorist infrastructure in the complex,” the official said, declining to be named.
“Hamas weapons and equipment” had been found in Al-Shifa, the official said, adding that “Hamas has persistently worked to conceal infrastructure and cover up evidence” in Gaza’s hospitals.
Hamas has denied operating out of medical facilities.
1 hour ago Shelling intensifies at Lebanon-Israel border Shelling intensified across Lebanon’s frontier with Israel, with Hezbollah saying it had fired missiles at eight positions across the border and Israel saying it had retaliated with artillery, Reuters reports.
In statements throughout the day, Hezbollah said it had hit eight sites in Israel, including a group of Israeli soldiers, a barracks and other military posts.
A Lebanese security source said Israeli bombardment, including drone strikes, hit at least a dozen villages all along Lebanon’s southern border.
The Israeli military said in a statement it had struck a “cell” in Lebanon that had tried launching anti-tank missiles towards Israel and was firing artillery onto other targets.
It said no injuries were reported in shelling on Israel.