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Gaza: Grandi (UNHCR) calls upon the UNSC for an humanitarian ceasefire

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 31 – Addressing the UN Security Council, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, called for an humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.“The conflict in Gaza is the latest – and perhaps largest – piece of a most dangerous jigsaw of war that is rapidly closing in around us,” said the High Commissioner, adding that Gazans do not want to leave to Egypt. 

Grandi, who previously led UNRWA, the Un agency whose mandate is the care of  Palestinian refugees, said that UNHCR latest figures speak of 114 million refugees and displaced people around the world: “114 million! This is surely a tangible but sometimes neglected symptom of the world’s current extreme disorder”.

GrandiHe noted that the past three weeks have provided devastating proof that disregarding the basic rules of war — international humanitarian law — is increasingly becoming the norm and not the exception, with innocent civilians killed in unprecedented numbers: in the Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians and in the killing of Palestinian civilians and massive destruction of infrastructure caused by the ongoing Israeli military operation. “As we speak, over two million Gazans, half of them children, are going through what my colleague Philippe Lazzarini has called ‘hell on earth. A humanitarian ceasefire can at least stop this spiral of death and I hope that you will overcome your divisions and exercise your authority in demanding one — the world is waiting for you to do so”, he warned the Security Council. Today a spokeperson of the Israeli Defense Forces confirmed an IDF attack caused the massive blast at Gaza’s largest refugee camp that has reportedly left dozens of people dead and injured.

Grandi argued that a ceasefire can at least stop “this spiral of death” but it must be a first step and not an end in itself. “Solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was always described as ‘elusive’: but it has not been elusive; it has been repeatedly & deliberately neglected, cast aside as something no longer necessary, & almost ridiculed. Dealing with the chronic resurgence of violence, followed by temporary ceasefires, was deemed more expedient than focusing on a real peace; one able to provide Israelis and Palestinians with the rights, recognition, security, and statehood that they deserve. I hope that now, amidst the horrors of war, we can at least see how grave a miscalculation that has been,” he said. (@OnuItalia)


Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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