GENEVA / MIDDLE EAST ESCALATION

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10-Oct-2023 00:05:32
Four days after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched thousands of indiscriminate rockets into central Israel, prompting the bombardment of Gaza by Israeli forces, UN humanitarians urged all parties to cease fighting immediately and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / MIDDLE EAST ESCALATION
TRT: 05:32
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Med shot, UN flag alley, UN Geneva

10 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Med shot, speakers at the press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“As of last night, Israeli reports indicate that more than 900 Israelis, including foreign nationals, have been killed. At least 2,616 people have been injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Israel. Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, at least 687 Palestinians have been killed and 3,800 others injured.”
4. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamara Alrifai, Director of External Relations and Communications, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) (speaking from Amman):
“Last night, a building that houses the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City sustained significant damage as a result of airstrikes nearby. This brings the recorded number of buildings from UNRWA that sustained damage to 18. So 18 of our facilities, including a school for the visually impaired in Gaza and our headquarters in Gaza City, were damaged.”
6. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamara Alrifai, Director of External Relations and Communications, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) (speaking from Amman):
“Approximately 80 UNRWA schools, we are now housing more than 137,000 residents of Gaza who left their homes in fear of their homes being attacked or destroyed.”
8. Wide shot, attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tamara Alrifai, Director of External Relations and Communications, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) (speaking from Amman):
“The 137,000 displaced into UNRWA schools are now in more than the 54 schools that are ready to receive them and therefore we are extremely concerned about our ability as UNRWA, to respond to these huge needs, both because of the ongoing situation, security or lack thereof, but also because UNRWA even prior to this conflict was already stretched to its financial limits and its resource limits.”
10. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
11. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, Spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“According to reports, hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian children have been killed and many more injured in the last 72 hours. The killing and maiming of children is a grave violation and willful killing is a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law. We again, like all colleagues here, call on all parties not to target children and take all necessary actions to ensure their protection during these hostilities.”
12. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
13. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, Spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“In addition, there are reports of the abduction of Israeli children to the Gaza Strip. The abduction of children by any party to the conflict constitutes a grave violation and hostage-taking is prohibited by International Humanitarian Law in all circumstances. UNICEF calls for the immediate and safe release of all hostages.”
14. Close up, attendees at the press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are deeply shocked and appalled by allegations of summary execution of civilians and in some instances, horrifying mass killings by members of Palestinian armed groups.”
16. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The imposition of sieges that endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential for their survival is prohibited under International Humanitarian Law. Any restriction on the movement of people and goods to implement a siege must be justified by military necessity or it may amount to collective punishment.”
18. Med shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The current situation is an armed conflict. That's clear. In an armed conflict, all sides have the obligation to respect International Humanitarian Law. This includes Hamas, the Israeli side, all armed groups that are involved have the obligation to respect international humanitarian law. And this of course, this conflict is taking place in the wider context of an occupation by Israel of Gaza. So there are other obligations.”
20. Wide shot, attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
21. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“On the treatment of the people who were abducted and killed by Hamas, as we said, this is horrific, this is a clear violation of International Law. The desecration of bodies is sick and disgusting and horrific, and we've been deeply distressed by these images. We have seen bodies being paraded as trophies, we have seen the desecration of bodies.”
22. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
23. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“A humanitarian corridor is needed to reach people with critical medical supplies, and WHO will work with partners on this.”
24. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
25. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“The pre-positioned supplies, which were in seven major hospitals in the Gaza strip, have now been used up.”
26. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
27. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“As of four o’clock in the afternoon yesterday, 13 health attacks have been confirmed in the Gaza strip since the beginning of the current escalation of the violence. This resulted in 6 health workers being killed, 4 health workers being injured, 9 ambulances affected and 8 health facilities affected.”
28. Wide shot, speakers and attendees at the press conference, screens with speaker
29. Wide shot, attendees at the press conference, screens with speakers
30. Close shot, attendee at the press conference
31. Close shot, attendee at the press conference

STORYLINE:

Four days after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched thousands of indiscriminate rockets into central Israel, prompting the bombardment of Gaza by Israeli forces, UN humanitarians urged all parties on Tuesday (10 Oct) to cease fighting immediately and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.

“As of last night, Israeli reports indicate that more than 900 Israelis, including foreign nationals, have been killed. At least 2,616 people have been injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Israel”, said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, at least 687 Palestinians have been killed and 3,800 others injured.”

Displacement has escalated dramatically across the Gaza Strip - one of two Palestinian territories, the other being the West Bank - reaching more than 187,500 since Saturday, said OCHA. Most have taken shelter in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which has provided humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip since 1949.

According to initial reports, UNRWA offices were damaged. “Last night, a building that houses the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City sustained significant damage as a result of airstrikes nearby,” said Tamara Alrifai, UNRWA’s Director of External Relations and Communications speaking from Amman. “This brings the recorded number of buildings from UNRWA that sustained damage to 18, including a school for the visually impaired in Gaza and our headquarters in Gaza City, were damaged.”
Alrifai added that in “approximately 80 UNRWA schools, we are now housing more than 137,000 residents of Gaza who left their homes in fear of their homes being attacked or destroyed”.

“We are extremely concerned about our ability as UNRWA, to respond to these huge needs, both because of the ongoing situation, security or lack thereof, but also because UNRWA even prior to this conflict was already stretched to its financial limits and its resource limits.”

The ongoing surge of conflict-related violence continues to take a horrendous toll on children and their families in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Any delay in bringing an end to the conflict will inevitably result in more devastating consequences for children, it said.

“According to reports, hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian children have been killed and many more injured in the last 72 hours,” said UNICEF’s spokesperson James Elder. “The killing and maiming of children is a grave violation and willful killing is a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law. We again, like all colleagues here, call on all parties not to target children and take all necessary actions to ensure their protection during these hostilities.”

Adding that there “are reports of the abduction of Israeli children to the Gaza Strip”, Mr Elder said that “the abduction of children by any party to the conflict constitutes a grave violation and hostage-taking is prohibited by international humanitarian law in all circumstances. UNICEF calls for the immediate and safe release of all hostages.”
The UN human rights office (OHCHR) also urged an immediately end to attacks on civilians and attacks that kill and maim civilians disproportionately.

OHCHR spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, said that “we are deeply shocked and appalled by allegations of summary execution of civilians and in some instances, horrifying mass killings by members of Palestinian armed groups.”

Alarmed about measures to cut electricity food, water and fuel from entering Gaza which will add another layer of suffering to the existing catastrophe faced by families in Gaza, Ms. Shamdasani insisted that “the imposition of sieges that endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential for their survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law. Any restriction on the movement of people and goods to implement a siege must be justified by military necessity or it may amount to collective punishment.”

According to OCHA, the Israeli decision to cut off water affects 610,000 people who face very limited access to drinking water already.

“The current situation is an armed conflict, that's clear. In an armed conflict, all sides have the obligation to respect international humanitarian law,” Ms. Shamdasani said. “This includes Hamas, the Israeli side, all armed groups that are involved have the obligation to respect international humanitarian law. And this of course, this conflict is taking place in the wider context of an occupation by Israel of Gaza. So there are other obligations.”

OHCHR also stressed that it is important that everyone deprived of their liberty in the Occupied Palestine Territory and Israel is treated humanely.

“On the treatment of the people who were abducted and killed by Hamas, as we said, this is horrific, this is a clear violation of international law. The desecration of bodies is sick and disgusting and horrific, and we've been deeply distressed by these images. We have seen bodies being paraded as trophies, we have seen the desecration of bodies.”

In the Gaza Strip, the UN and its partners are on the ground delivering immediate humanitarian support, including medical supplies, fuel as well as mental health and psychosocial support.

Echoing the enormous humanitarian concerns, the UN health agency WHO said that “a humanitarian corridor is needed to reach people with critical medical supplies, and WHO will work with partners on this.”

WHO’s spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told journalists in Geneva that, “the pre-positioned supplies, which were in seven major hospitals in the Gaza strip, have now been used up”.

Jasarevic informed that “as of four o’clock in the afternoon yesterday, 13 health attacks have been confirmed in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current escalation of the violence which resulted in six health workers being killed, four health workers being injured, nine ambulances affected and eight health facilities affected.”
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