UN Warns of Famine Risk in Gaza as Security Council Resolution Faces Vote

Fri Dec 22 2023
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GAZA STRIP: The United Nations warned that the Israel-Hamas war was pushing Gaza towards famine, ahead of an expected Security Council vote Friday on a resolution to boost assistance to the Palestinian territory but not call for a ceasefire.

Separate diplomatic efforts were also continued for a fresh pause in the worst-ever Gaza war.

With conditions deteriorating in the enclave, the UN Security Council has been locked in talks on a resolution that would boost assistance deliveries.

The latest draft set to face a vote Friday, calls for urgent measures to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for an enduring cessation of hostilities. It does not call for an immediate end to war.

Supported by its ally the US, Israel has opposed the term “ceasefire”. The US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told journalists that Washington would back the resolution if it “is put forward as is”.

Gaza’s worrying situation

The whole population of Gaza faces a looming risk of famine, a UN-backed international hunger monitoring system warned on Thursday, with over half a million people facing “catastrophic conditions”.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths posted on X that they have been warning for weeks that, with such destruction and deprivation, each day that goes by will only bring more disease, hunger, and despair to the people of Gaza.

According to Gaza health ministry at least 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in unrelenting Israeli bombardments since October 7. The casualties include 8,000 children and 6,200 women, underscoring the devastating toll on the civilian population.

The UN has said that some 1.87 million Palestinians, over 80 percent of Gaza’s population, have left their homes because of the Israeli bombardment of the besieged enclave.

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