Nebenzya Highlights Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Requires Complete Ceasefire

18 April

During a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya emphasized that humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip are bound to fail without a comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire.


"We've consistently cautioned that without a comprehensive, lasting ceasefire, monitored effectively by military observers, humanitarian efforts are bound to fail. Humanitarian workers are helpless against a  military force. No amount of voluntary coordination will suffice if one party persists in conflict, especially when there are indications from a Security Council member that resolutions are purportedly non-binding," Nebenzya stated.


The Russian diplomat highlighted the ongoing violation of UN Security Council resolutions and international humanitarian law, with the escalation of hostilities in the Palestinian enclave. "Under these circumstances, delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza's population is practically impossible. UN agencies unanimously report that humanitarian access to the enclave is nearly non-existent. The Israel Defense Forces obstruct half of the humanitarian convoys to the Strip. Despite availability of aid and resources, the only obstacle is the opening of checkpoints and ensuring security," he emphasized.


Nebenzya stressed the indispensable role of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in such conditions. "We commend the bravery of the agency's personnel who carry out their humanitarian duties amidst dire circumstances, often at the cost of their lives. To date, 178 staff members have lost their lives, the highest toll within a UN structure," Nebenzya remarked.


"Amidst such circumstances, efforts to brand UNRWA as a terrorist organization and advocate for its dissolution, witnessed even in this chamber, are unequivocally unacceptable. Unfounded accusations against UNRWA should not tarnish the reputation of this crucial UN agency, which employs 13,000 staff in Gaza alone. If UNRWA ceases operations, it would become another illegal and immoral tool of collective punishment for millions of Palestinians in dire need," the diplomat concluded.


The UNSC meeting commenced with a minute of silence to honor humanitarian workers killed in the Gaza Strip. According to the latest UN figures, at least 224 humanitarian workers, predominantly UNRWA personnel, have been killed since the escalation of the Middle East conflict.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Zuma\TASS

Based on materials from TASS