UN for Palestinian refugees According to the head of the organization, the suffering and despair in the Gaza Strip is “difficult to understand”. UNRWA's Philippe Lazzarini says the region needs immediate relief supplies to meet basic needs “on a large scale, without restriction and unconditionally”. He added that he was shocked by the inhumanity of the Palestinians.
Lazzarini has visited the Gaza Strip three times since the war broke out two months ago, he told a news conference in Geneva. “Every time I go back, I think it won't get any worse, but every time I see more misery, suffering, sadness. I have the feeling that Gaza is no longer a livable place.” According to him, people pay too little attention to the terrible conditions faced by Palestinians.
“What's happening in Gaza should make everyone angry. It should make us rethink our values and our shared humanity,” Lazzarini said. He condemned the “smear campaign” against Palestinians and humanitarian aid providers there, such as UNRWA. The Israeli government continues to physically and verbally attack the organization.
Lazzarini has just returned from Rafah, a city in the south where a large number of refugees have moved. He said that for the first time he saw the people of Kazan hungry. Not only are emergency shelters overflowing, tens of thousands of people are now staying outside of emergency shelters. “The lucky ones have a place on campus, especially now that winter has set in. But the others have nowhere to go. They live outside in the cold, mud, and rain.” People are now so desperate, Lazzarini says, that they're eating food straight from aid trucks.
135 UNRWA staff died in the war. Laszarini said 270 people were killed in the attacks on United Nations compounds. (AP)
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