GENEVA: The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency on Tuesday called for an unimpeded flow of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, trapped in a humanitarian crisis after two weeks of intense Israeli attacks.
“We call for an unimpeded and continuous flow of humanitarian assistance and medical assistance to continue coming into Gaza,” said Tamara Alrifai, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
“The trucks that have come in so far are just a trickle in the face of the immense needs of people on the street.”
The UN General Assembly will meet Thursday to discuss the conflict triggered by the attack by Hamas militants on Israel, the body’s president announced in a letter to member states.
The Security Council has so far failed to agree on a resolution concerning the war, but a number of states — including Jordan on behalf of an Arab group of nations, Russia, Syria, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia — formally requested General Assembly President Dennis Francis to schedule the meeting.
Last week, the UN Security Council, regularly divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, rejected a Russian draft resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause.”
Only five of the 15 member states had supported the text, which condemned all violence against civilians and all terrorist acts, but did not name Hamas, an unacceptable omission to the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
Washington then vetoed a second resolution put forward by Brazil as the text did not mention Israel’s right to defend itself.
Twelve out of 15 Council members voted in favor of that resolution, which also condemned the “heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas,” while Russia and the United Kingdom abstained.
The United States was the only vote against, but as one of the body’s five permanent members its vote counts as a veto.
The Security Council will meet to discuss the issue Tuesday ahead of the General Assembly’s gathering Thursday at 10:00 am (1400 GMT).