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UN denounces Israeli strikes on Gaza refugee camp

By AFP - Nov 01,2023 - Last updated at Nov 01,2023

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage shows Palestinians checking the destruction in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday (AFP photo)

UNITED NATIONS, United States — The United Nations on Wednesday decried strikes on Gaza's largest refugee camp that killed scores of people in attacks that Israel said targeted a Hamas commander.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is appalled over the escalating violence in Gaza", his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

This includes "the killing of Palestinians, including women and children in Israeli air strikes in residential areas of the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp," Dujarric said.

A strike on the camp killed at least 47 people Tuesday — including a Hamas commander involved in the October 7  surprise attacks, according to Israel.

"This is just the latest atrocity to befall the people of Gaza where the fighting has entered an even more terrifying phase, with increasingly dreadful humanitarian consequences," Martin Griffiths, the UN humanitarian chief, said in a statement.

He said "the world seems unable, or unwilling, to act", adding "this cannot go on. We need a step change".

Dujarric said that the secretary-general reiterated that all parties "must abide by international humanitarian law including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution".

He also called on them to “bring an end to this shocking violence, pain and suffering.”

Griffiths, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, released his statement after a two-day visit to the region.

The head of the UN agency that works to help Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, managed to reach Gaza on Wednesday via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, said Dujarric.

Lazzarini, who leads UNRWA, is the most senior UN official to be allowed into Gaza since the war began.

UNRWA has seen 70 of its staffers killed in the war so far.

“He said that the staff told him that fuel is very much needed and than more than ever humanitarian policy is also needed,” Dujarric said.

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