UNICEF Official Warns of Perilous Conditions in Gaza 'Safe Zones'

UNICEF Official Warns of Perilous Conditions in Gaza 'Safe Zones'

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The spokesperson for the UN's child relief agency James Elder, raised concerns that the designated 'safe zones' in Gaza pose a risk by forcing thousands into harsh and inhumane conditions.

While the Israeli military declared "safe areas" for civilians, reports from Al Jazeera correspondents and locals indicate challenges in adhering to these directives on the ground.

Elder cautioned that these 'safe zones' might become breeding grounds for disease and suffering, citing a dire situation where one toilet serves around 400 families in a Gaza shelter. He emphasized the absence of basic amenities like toilets for tens of thousands in these zones, stressing that for them to truly offer safety, they must provide water, food, medical supplies, and shelter as mandated by law.

Highlighting the essential aspect of safe access, Elder emphasized the need for people to reach these zones safely. He pointed out the Israeli army's history of directing Palestinians to evacuate certain areas for safety, only to later bomb those regions and the evacuation routes. Elder concluded by stating that only a ceasefire could ensure the safety of the children in Gaza.

After a prolonged delay, the Israeli security cabinet convened and sanctioned the war cabinet’s proposal to permit fuel entry into the Gaza Strip.

Yet, this decision encountered opposition. Ultra-nationalists Itamar Ben-Gvir, the regime’s national security minister, and Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister, were against this move, saying that Israel is now changing its red lines and that they are afraid this fuel will go into the hands of Palestinian resistance groups.

During the ceasefire period, there were 60,000 liters of fuel allowed into the Gaza Strip per day. The number will now be 120,000 – double that amount. 

The Israeli cabinet and army alike are claiming that this fuel will be used for hospitals, for water pumps and for desalination plants so that the spread of disease will not happen in the Gaza Strip because it could impact Israel’s military operation. Nevertheless, reports indicate that diseases have already proliferated within the Gaza Strip.

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