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7 August 2014
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY FARHAN HAQ, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
THURSDAY, 7 AUGUST 2014
U.N. FLAG AT HALF-MAST IN HONOUR OF FALLEN STAFF MEMBERS IN GAZA
The UN flag is flying at half-mast at Headquarters today in honour of the eleven staff members and contractors of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) who died in Gaza over the past month. The Secretary-General, in his remarks yesterday at the informal meeting of the General Assembly, mourned the fallen staff and said that we will carry on with their work.
Also, today in the Circle outside the Secretariat building, we will have a moment of silence in memory of the colleagues killed in Gaza.
In less than one month of military conflict, UNRWA lost eleven of its personnel in Gaza. In addition, in recent years, twelve people working for the Relief and Works Agency have died in Syria, in addition to one who died in the West Bank.
The fallen UNRWA staff members are: Fatma A. Rahim Abu Amouna, 54, a teacher; Inas Shaban Derbas, 30, a teacher; Mohammed A. Raouf Al-Dadda, 39, a teacher; Ismail A. Qader El-Kujk, 53, an environmental-health worker; Farid Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, 50, a teacher; Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed, 51, a school principal; Munir Ibrahim El Hajjar, a social worker; Medhat Ahmed Al Amoudi, 53, a labourer, and Abdallah Naser Khalil Fahajan, 21, a school attendant.
Two UNRWA contractors employed under the Agency’s Job Creation Programme have been killed while on duty in UNRWA’s shelters: Adel Mohammad Abu Qamar, a guard, and Hazim Abdelbasit Abu Hellal, a guard.
SCALE OF NEEDS ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ IN GAZA FOLLOWING FOUR WEEKS OF FIGHTING, SAYS U.N. OFFICIAL
The UN Resident and
Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, James Rawley, said today that the scale of needs is unprecedented in the Gaza Strip following four weeks of hostilities. He said that teams are on the ground assessing needs and providing relief and emphasized the need for a sustained halt to the violence.
Since the conflict began last month, at least 1,380 Palestinian civilians have been killed, including 423 children and 224 women, and more than 9,000 people have been wounded. Three civilians in Israel were killed. Some of the 520,000 Palestinians who were displaced have since returned to their homes.
In the last 48 hours, humanitarian workers have been able to deliver food rations to hundreds of thousands of people. Vital repairs to water and sanitation infrastructure are underway and hundreds of tons of refuse have been removed from Gaza’s refugee camps. Medical supplies are being re-stocked and more clinics are open. Mine risk education is targeting families in areas with the highest contamination of unexploded ordnance, and emergency psychosocial support is being provided to thousands of children. Search and rescue workers have been retrieving bodies from under the rubble in areas that were previously inaccessible.
Mr. Rawley added that, without the full lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in Gaza will continue to be deprived of any sense of a normal life and the massive reconstruction effort now required will be impossible.