Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

Source The United Nations



Media – SECRETARY-GENERAL/ MIDDLE EAST This morning, the Secretary-General said he was shocked by misinterpretations by some of his statement yesterday in the Security Council – as if it was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false, he said. It was the opposite. He noted he had clearly condemned the acts by Hamas unequivocally and had added that, as he said, “the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.” The Secretary-General said it was necessary to set the record straight – especially out of respect for the victims and to their families.

GAZA An update on the situation in Gaza, our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that the humanitarian crisis has reached an unprecedented point.

The UN Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA – by far the largest humanitarian provider in Gaza – warned that unless fuel is allowed into Gaza immediately, UNRWA will be forced to halt its operations tonight.

Hospitals are shutting down. They lack fuel, water, medical supplies and personnel. Fuel is being severely rationed and is used to run a select number of critical facilities. The back-up generators are not designed for continuous operations and could break down.

UN personnel yesterday visited hospitals and saw many wounded people who were unconscious, with open wounds, lying on beds, stretchers and on the floor, with limited medical assistance. Food stocks are running out. The World Food Programme estimates that the current supplies of essential food in Gaza are sufficient for about 12 days. However, at shops, the available stock is expected to last for only five days.

People are resorting to well water, which is extremely high in salt and poses immediate health risks.

Health partners have also detected cases of chicken pox, scabies and diarrhea, due to the poor sanitation conditions and consumption of water from unsafe sources.

The number of internally displaced is now estimated at over 1.4 million people, including 590,000 people sheltered in UNRWA designated shelters.


The UN Peacekeeping mission in Lebanon UNIFIL says there were again exchanges of fire across the Blue Line this morning.

As the UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander reiterated today in a statement, UNIFIL continues to implement its mandate, including to patrol along the Blue Line and to engage with the parties in an attempt to de-escalate existing tensions.

WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY The Secretary-General spoke at the Security Council on the topic of women, peace and security.

He said that at a time when conflicts are raging and tensions are rising, the world needs to take note and be inspired by the immense contributions of women to global peace and security.

Women’s participation should be a default, not an afterthought, Mr. Guterres said, noting that far too many women’s organizations struggle to fund their essential work, as military spending soars; and far too many perpetrators of sexual violence walk free and far too many peace processes exclude women.

He urged countries to ensure that women are in the room for peace talks, to provide funding for gender equality initiatives and include women at all levels of political and civil life. Also briefing the Council was the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous.

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