“A UNRWA [sigla inglesa da Agência das Nações Unidas de Assistência aos Refugiados da Palestina no Próximo Oriente] and its officials are responsible for this human catastrophe,” Hamas said in a statement.
The group said that UN elements “bowed to the dictates” of Israel from the outset, “abandoning their positions and abdicating responsibility towards the hundreds of thousands of inhabitants” of northern Gaza.
In the statement, Hamas press chief Salameh Maarouf denounced the UN agency’s “clear collusion” with Israel “and its plans for forced displacement.”
UNRWA left the Palestinian population “without shelter, water, food or treatment” and turned “a deaf ear to the cries of pain and suffering”, he added, quoted by the French agency AFP.
Hamas’ rare attack on the UN agency comes at a time when the number of Palestinians leaving the north of the Gaza Strip daily for the south appears to have increased considerably.
Throughout today, according to AFP, thousands of desperate Palestinians fled on foot from the north of the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today that around 15,000 people fled on Tuesday, compared with 5,000 on Monday and 2,000 on Sunday.
According to the UN, around 1.5 million Gazans have fled their homes since the start of the war.
UNRWA provides education, health and social services, microfinance, camp improvements and emergency assistance to millions of refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The services are aimed at the most needy among refugees, Palestinians who were forced to leave their homeland when the State of Israel was created in 1948.
Together with their descendants, they today constitute around 80% of the 2.3 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, according to data from UNRWA.
The UN agency says it can no longer help tens of thousands of displaced people, who take refuge in the schools it manages in the north of the Gaza Strip, since Israel ordered the population to leave to the south in the first days of the war with Hamas. .
According to UNRWA, 89 of its employees have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli military offensive, in retaliation for the attack by the Islamist movement in Israel on October 7.
According to Israel, at least 1,400 people died, most of them civilians killed on the same day as the Hamas attack, which took more than two hundred hostages.
More than 10,500 people were killed in Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip, the vast majority of them civilians, according to Hamas.
The regional director of the United Nations Population Fund for the Arab States, Laila Baker, said today that she was “at a loss for words to describe the catastrophic situation on the ground and the total loss of humanity” seen in Gaza.
“It is an unprecedented and unparalleled brutality in the history of humanity in recent times,” he said, quoted by the online publication Middle East Monitor.
Read Also: More than 10,500 people have died in Gaza since the start of the conflict
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