Humanitarian Affairs Committee on Israel/Gaza & other High Concerns

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Media – Third Committee Condemns Brutal Bombing of Gaza Hospital, Enforced Displacement of Palestinian Civilians, Emphasizes Urgent Need for Unimpeded Humanitarian Aid.

18th of October attack on the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, which resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, delegates told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today, as they also engaged in a series of interactive dialogues on the right to education, cultural rights and the impact of climate change on persons with albinism.

The observer for the State of Palestine said that, for 11 days, the world has witnessed epic human suffering, with Israel brutally killing over 3,000 people in the Gaza Strip — over half of them women and children.

“Israel has not spared a single Palestinian family in Gaza,” bombing them in their homes, she said. Those who are not injured are displaced, and those who thought they found safety in Al-Ahli Hospital were massacred.

“Hospitals must be sanctuaries to preserve human lives, not scenes of death and destruction,”said Ecuador’s delegate, emphasizing that respect for international humanitarian law is an imperative of the international community.

Kuwait’s delegate called on the international community to condemn “the brutal shelling of the hospital in Gaza”.

“Israel must immediately stop its collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” said the representative of Egypt, condemning Israel’s bombing of the hospital in Gaza City.

She categorically rejected attempts to enforce displacement of Palestinians to neighbouring countries.

The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the blame for the deaths of hundreds of people in the Al-Ahli Hospital is in part with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Japan, countries that on Monday blocked the adoption of the purely humanitarian draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Germany’s delegate condemned the indiscriminate attacks by Hamas across Israel and expressed horror about the attack on the fully operational Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza.

Adding to that, Canada’s delegate underscored the need to free all hostages immediately and unconditionally and ensure that all parties fully respect international humanitarian law.

The youth delegate of Israel recalled the Hamas terrorist attacks, which resulted in numerous murdered and wounded. “Israel is in a war against a terror organization called Hamas, she said — not citizens, not individuals.”

Noting Israel’s right to self-defence, she called for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, and warned against Hamas’ politicization of the events.

In the afternoon, the Committee heard from Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, who reported that, to achieve the goal of providing primary and secondary education for all by 2030, 68.8 million more teachers are needed.

States must ensure the right of everyone to inclusive, equitable and quality education, and guarantee internationally recognized rights of teachers, encompassing, inter alia, the right to work, adequate remuneration, decent working conditions and academic freedom.

Additionally, States should allocate a sufficient proportion of the national budget for education and ensure that the money is used effectively and equitably to guarantee education for all, she underlined, calling for meaningful participation of teachers in educational decision-making and reforms through robust dialogue.

What is the 3rd Committee of UNGA?

The Third Committee of the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session, is chaired by His Excellency Alexander Marschik of Austria.

The General Assembly allocates to the Third Committee, agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.

The Committee discusses questions relating to the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination.

The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.

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