GENEVA / MIDDLE EAST ESCALATION

13-Oct-2023 00:04:33
Following Israel’s order to the entire population of northern Gaza to relocate to the southern half of the territory within 24 hours, UN humanitarians on Friday raised deep concern for the affected civilians who have faced six days of bombardment in a worsening humanitarian crisis. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / MIDDLE EAST ESCALATION
TRT: 04:36
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Med shot, UN flag alley, UN Geneva

13 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, speakers, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rolando Gómez, Chief of the Press and External Relations Section at the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva:
“Team leaders of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Department of Safety and Security in Gaza, were informed by their Liaison officers in the Israeli military that the entire population of Gaza north of Wadi Gaza should relocate to southern Gaza within the next 24 hours. This amounts to approximately 1.1 million people. The same order applied to the UN staff and those sheltered in UN facilities, including schools, health centres and clinics.”
4. Close up, attendees at the press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rolando Gómez, Chief of the Press and External Relations Section at the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva:
“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a move to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences. The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order to be rescinded, avoiding what could transform – what is already a tragedy – into a calamitous situation. Senior Officials, including the Humanitarian Coordinator, are working to this end and this includes the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland.”
6. Med shot, Photographers at press briefing
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In the middle of a war zone, with people who are already at the end of the rope – I have rarely seen anything like this – how is that going to happen? There is only one solution and that is to rescind this order, rethink it, allow access for humanitarian agencies to do what they do which is save the lives of civilians.”
8. Med shot, attendees at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“This urgent appeal calls for nearly 300 million dollars to address the most urgent needs of more than 1.2 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Some 100 humanitarian partners are behind the appeal, including 13 United Nations agencies, including UNRWA, and international and national NGOs and the Palestinian Red Crescent.”
10. Wide shot, speakers on podium filmed from behind and attendees at the press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“With ongoing airstrikes, civilians have no safe place left to go. The Palestinian Ministry of health has informed WHO that it is impossible to evacuate vulnerable hospital patients from the north of Gaza.”
12. Wide shot, attendees at the press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“Moving severely ill people – and remember, many of those are children – and these severely ill people whose injuries mean their only chances of survival is being on life-support, such as mechanical ventilators. So moving those people is a death sentence.”
14. Close shot, attendee in press room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Tarik Jašarević, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO):
“What are we hearing from WHO and non-WHO health workers in Gaza is really horrifying. Hospital corridors are overflowing, dead bodies are piling up as there is no more space in morgues. And ambulances and doctors have to make a horrific choice as to who to save and who to leave behind.”
16. Wide shot, attendees in press room
17. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, Spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Hundreds and hundreds of children have now been killed and injured every hour in Gaza. The number of children killed is rising. The killing of children must stop. The images, the stories are clear: Children with horrendous burns, mortar wounds, lost limbs and hospitals are utterly overwhelmed to treat them.”
18. Wide shot, speakers on podium filmed from behind and attendees at the press conference
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“There are many violations of international humanitarian law that are most likely happening on the ground at the moment in Israel and in Gaza. International humanitarian law grants special protection for specifically protected persons and objects, including medical personnel, medical units, medical transport, humanitarian relief personnel and objects and cultural property – and the parties to the conflict must respect them in all circumstances. Attacks against such people and objects are prohibited and may constitute a war crime.”
20. Wide shot, screens and attendees at the press conference
21. Close shot, attendee in press room
22. Wide shot, screens and attendees at the press conference
STORYLINE
Following Israel’s order to the entire population of northern Gaza to relocate to the southern half of the territory within 24 hours, UN humanitarians on Friday raised deep concern for the affected civilians who have faced six days of bombardment in a worsening humanitarian crisis.

“The United Nations considers it impossible for such a move to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences, “said Rolando Gomez, spokesperson of the UN Office in Geneva. “The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order to be rescinded, avoiding what could transform – what is already a tragedy – into a calamitous situation.” He added that “senior Officials, including the Humanitarian Coordinator, are working to this end and this includes the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland.”

Echoing this message, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that “in the middle of a war zone, with people who are already at the end of the rope – I have rarely seen anything like this – how is that going to happen? There is only one solution and that is to rescind this order, rethink it, allow access for humanitarian agencies to do what they do which is save the lives of civilians.”

On Thursday, the UN launched a flash appeal calling for approximately USD 297 million for 77 humanitarian partners to address the most urgent needs of 1.26 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

“This urgent appeal calls for nearly $300 million to address the most urgent needs of more than 1.2 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank,” said Mr. Laerke. “Some 100 humanitarian partners are behind the appeal, including 13 United Nations agencies, including UNRWA, and international and national NGOs and the Palestinian Red Crescent.”

Joining the wider UN in appealing to Israel to immediately revoke the orders for the evacuation within the next 24 hours, Tarik Jasarevic from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that “with ongoing airstrikes, civilians have no safe place left to go. The Palestinian Ministry of Health has informed WHO that it is impossible to evacuate vulnerable hospital patients from the north of Gaza.”

He reminded that “moving severely ill people – and remember, many of those are children – and these severely ill people whose injuries mean their only chances of survival is being on life-support, such as mechanical ventilators. So, moving those people is a death sentence.”

WHO reported that the health system in Gaza is at breaking point and time is running out to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe if fuel, water, food and life-saving health supplies cannot be urgently delivered to the Gaza Strip.

“What are we hearing from WHO and non-WHO health workers in Gaza is really horrifying,” reported Mr. Jasarevic. “Hospital corridors are overflowing, dead bodies are piling up as there is no more space in morgues. And ambulances and doctors have to make a horrific choice as to who to save and who to leave behind.”

According to the latest numbers of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) over 423,000 people have already been displaced since 7 October. Of them, more than 270,000 have taken refuge in UNRWA shelters, where basic food, medicine and support is provided to retain dignity and a glimmer of hope.

Calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, James Elder, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson said that “hundreds and hundreds of children have now been killed and injured every hour in Gaza. The number of children killed is rising. The killing of children must stop. The images, the stories are clear: Children with horrendous burns, mortar wounds, lost limbs and hospitals are utterly overwhelmed to treat them.”

UNICEF reported that as of Friday, 447 children were killed and with ongoing surgeries this number will rise.

UN human rights office (OHCHR) spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that “there are many violations of international humanitarian law that are most likely happening on the ground at the moment in Israel and in Gaza. International humanitarian law grants special protection for specifically protected persons and objects, including medical personnel, medical units, medical transport, humanitarian relief personnel and objects and cultural property – and the parties to the conflict must respect them in all circumstances. Attacks against such people and objects are prohibited and may constitute a war crime.”

OHCHR stressed that civilians must never be used as bargaining chip. It reported that more than 2,700 people, including civilians, have already been killed in both Israel and Gaza.

The UN human rights office “urge(s) Palestinian armed groups to halt the use of inherently indiscriminate projectiles, which violate international humanitarian law, as well as attacks directed against civilians. And we urge Israel to ensure full respect for international humanitarian and human rights law in any and all military operations.”
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