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President of UNGA: Situation in Gaza is catastrophic, unconscionable, and shameful

President of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis, called for the international community to act now to end the Gaza crisis. “The situation in Gaza is catastrophic, unconscionable and shameful,” he said.

“I am shocked and horrified at the reported killing and injury of hundreds of people during the disbursement of aid supplies, west of Gaza City last week,” he said addressing the UNGA meeting which was held today to examine the US veto of the latest Security Council draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza, where a grim, forewarned landscape of famine has seen babies and children die of starvation in recent days.

“This comes with a rising death toll, babies dying of starvation, and 85 percent of Gaza’s population – or 1.9 million people – are internally displaced,” he noted.

He expressed extreme concern about pending Israeli ground operations in Rafah, where nearly 1.5 million people now reside, urgently calling for maximum restraint to prevail to save innocent civilian lives.

Israeli restrictions on humanitarian access have drastically reduced the flow of lifesaving aid to a mere trickle, with UNRWA reporting a significant 50 percent reduction in the number of trucks entering Gaza daily from January to February, he said.

“It is therefore essential that we rapidly and substantially increase the scale of humanitarian operations and ensure unrestricted access to all civilians in need,” he added.

First and foremost, an immediate humanitarian ceasefire must be implemented and all parties must comply with their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law, especially as it relates to the protection of civilians and civilian facilities, stressed the President of the UN General Assembly.

He demanded that full and unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for those in need must be ensured.

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