Uptade Arab League seeks implementation of UN resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire

GENEVA: The situation in war-ravaged Gaza is so desperate that teenagers are now saying they hope to be swiftly killed to escape the “nightmare”, a spokesman for the UN children’s agency said Tuesday.
“The unspeakable is regularly said in Gaza,” said James Elder, spokesman for the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva via video message from Rafah in southern Gaza, he said the agency had on Monday held a meeting with adolescents.
Several said they were “so desperate for this nightmare to end that they hoped to be killed”, he said.
The war began with Hamas’s October 7 attacks, which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.
Militants also seized about 250 hostages, of whom Israel believes around 130 are still held in Gaza, including 33 presumed dead.
Israel’s retaliatory campaign against Hamas has killed at least 32,333 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry.
The UN has warned that Gaza is facing a looming famine, spurring increasingly urgent appeals for Israel to open up more border crossings and to stop hampering the movement of aid through the Palestinians territory.
The Israelis “have a right to control. They inspect every single gram, litre, kilo of whatever goes into Gaza,” Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency, told reporters.
“But they cannot say that once it’s inside, we leave it with you. They must create this enabling environment that allows us to move it around.”
“We need to dispel this notion that their obligation with getting aid in somehow stops with getting a few trucks, a fraction of what is needed, across the border,” he said.
“That is not correct.”
Elder meanwhile pointed out that the Israelis had denied a quarter of the 40 mission requests to the north since the beginning of the month.
“Now there is an existing old crossing point that could be used in the north 10 minutes from where those people are putting their hands to their mouth pleading for food,” he said, referring to the Erez Crossing.
“10 minutes. Open that and we could turn this humanitarian crisis around in a matter of days. But it remains closed.”
“Let’s be clear, life-saving aid is being obstructed, lives are being lost, dignity is being denied.”

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