Middle East

UN ‘deeply alarmed’ by Israeli leaders’ plan for forced ‘mass transfer’ of Gazans

The UN humanitarian chief says the world body is “deeply alarmed” by latest statements from Israeli leaders about deportation of the Palestinian population from the Gaza Strip, stressing that any attempt by the Tel Aviv regime to change the composition of the besieged coastal territory “must be firmly rejected.”

“We are deeply alarmed by recent statements by Israeli ministers regarding plans to encourage the mass transfer of civilians from Gaza to third countries, currently being referred to as “voluntary relocation,”’ Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory on Friday.

He added, “These statements raise grave concerns about the possible forcible mass transfer or deportation of the Palestinian population from the Gaza Strip, something that would be strictly prohibited under international law.”

The UN humanitarian chief underscored that “Any attempt to change the demographic composition of Gaza must be firmly rejected.”

Corpses on Gaza streets amid ‘utter horror’

Griffiths said his colleagues who have managed to make it to the North in recent days describe scenes of utter horror: Corpses left lying in the road. People with evident signs of starvation stopping trucks in search of anything they can get to survive.

And even if people were able to return home, many no longer have homes to go to, he noted.

The UN relief chief went on to describe the situation in Gaza as horrific amid relentless Israeli military strikes on neighborhoods across the region, lamenting the death and injury of thousands of people, the vast majority women and children, as a result of the Tel Aviv regime’s ongoing offensives.

“There is no safe place in Gaza. Dignified human life is a near impossibility,” Griffiths said.

He noted that the escalation of Israeli onslaught further southwards would significantly increase pressure for the mass displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into neighboring countries.

“Some countries have already offered to host civilians who want to leave Gaza for their protection,” the UN relief chief said. “I want to emphasize that any persons displaced from Gaza must be allowed to return, as international law demands.”

He noted that the UN’s efforts to send humanitarian convoys to the northern Gaza have been met with delays, denials, and the imposition of impossible conditions.

“The lack of respect for the humanitarian notification system puts every movement of aid workers in danger, as do the wholly insufficient quantities of armored vehicles and the limited communications equipment that we have been allowed to bring in.

“In the South, an expansion of the offensive into Rafah would seriously challenge already overstretched humanitarian operations that require extraordinary measures just to deliver the most meager assistance,” Griffiths said.

He reiterated his call for far greater compliance with international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and the infrastructure they depend on; the provision of essentials for survival; the facilitation of humanitarian assistance at the scale required; and the humane treatment and immediate release of all hostages.

Griffiths finally demand a ceasefire and urged the Security Council to take urgent action to bring the Gaza war to an end.

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