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War between Israel and Hamas: WHO passes resolution calling for immediate aid to Gaza Strip

Although the UN Security Council failed to demand a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas due to a veto by the United States, all 34 member countries of the WHO Executive Board are calling for the “immediate, sustained and unhindered movement of humanitarian aid” to Israel. Gaza Strip.

The resolution, proposed by Afghanistan, Morocco, Qatar and Yemen, calls for travel permits for patients, the provision of medicines and medical equipment to civilians, and access to medical care for anyone deprived of their liberty.

The resolution, adopted at an extraordinary session, also expresses “grave concern” about the humanitarian situation and “widespread destruction” and calls for the protection of all civilians. “You have achieved something that Member States have not yet achieved in other forums,” the WHO chief said. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

American, Canadian and Australian reserves

“This is the first consensus resolution on the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories since it began two months ago,” he said, calling it “a platform for further development.” After accepting the resolution, some Western countries expressed reservations. The US spokeswoman said Washington had agreed not to oppose the consensus but had “serious reservations”, saying she “regretted the lack of balance in the resolution”.

For Canada, the text represents a “compromise resolution” that could also condemn Hamas’s role in the conflict, hostage-taking and the “use of human shields.” Australia disputed that the resolution did not specifically mention the deadly Oct. 7 attacks, which were the “catalyst for the current devastating situation.”

“The work of medical staff has become impossible”

At the opening of an extraordinary session in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus estimated that the health care system in the Palestinian territory is collapsing. “As more and more people move into smaller and smaller areas, overcrowding coupled with a lack of adequate food, water, shelter and sanitation creates ideal conditions for the spread” of diseases, he added. Only 14 of 36 hospitals are operating at reduced capacity and only 1,400 of 3,500 beds are still available, he said.

The war was triggered by an unprecedented attack carried out by Hamas on Israeli soil from the Gaza Strip on October 7. Israeli bombing in response to the Gaza Strip has killed some 17,800 people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

“The work of health workers has become impossible, and they have found themselves in the line of fire,” the WHO head added. “Health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and struggling under unimaginable conditions.”

The extraordinary session was called by half the countries of the Executive Council, which usually meets twice a year. Its main task is to advise the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s governing body, and then implement its decisions.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, speaking via video link from Ramallah, said that “the daily horrors we are all witnessing defy international law and destroy the very essence of our common humanity.”

“Hamas is responsible for this suffering”

In its turn, Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador in Geneva assured that the Israeli military operation “is directed against Hamas, not against the Palestinian people,” adding: “I am aware of the suffering that Gaza is enduring.”

“But let us make no mistake: Hamas is responsible for this suffering.” “The reality is that if we stop now, Hamas will organize another October 7th,” she insisted. “The desire to reach consensus at any cost, including ignoring the hostage situation, is simply unacceptable,” she continued.

Source: Le Parisien

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