UN describes Gaza as ‘scene of death and destruction’ amid food, water challenges
A United Nations (U.N.) official described Gaza as a “scene of death and destruction” amid food and water struggles faced by the territory Friday.
Thomas White, Gaza director for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said he has traveled “the length and breadth of Gaza in the last few weeks” and called it a “scene of death and destruction,” according to The Associated Press. White reportedly said this during a video briefing to U.N. member nations.
White also said the average Palestinian in Gaza is living off of two pieces of bread made from U.N. stockpiled flour, The AP reported. But the situation is growing more dire.
“Now people are beyond looking for bread. It’s looking for water,” White said.
In similar remarks Friday to the U.N. General Assembly, UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini also talked about his recent experience visiting Gaza.
“The day I spent with the UNRWA team on the ground was one of the saddest of my entire 30-year humanitarian career,” Lazzarini said, according to a UNRWA release
“I visited a school, hosting thousands of displaced persons,” Lazzarini continued. “The place was overcrowded. The level of distress and the unsanitary living conditions were beyond comprehension. Everyone was asking for water and food. Instead of being at school to learn, children were asking for a sip of water and a loaf of bread. It was heartbreaking.”
More than 9,200 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. President Biden called for a “pause” in the fighting Wednesday after the White House had previously said it would consider a “humanitarian pause” to allow aid into Gaza.
The White House and Biden have, however, drawn a line at a cease-fire.
“I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out,” Biden responded.