2023 11 07 125657076836
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Edited News | WHO

Hostilities in the Gaza strip - WHO

Access is necessary to get urgently needed supplies into Gaza”, says WHO

One month since the start of the Israel-Palestine crisis, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated on Tuesday the urgent need for a humanitarian pause to ease the suffering across Gaza and Israel and urged unhindered and safe access to the Hamas-run enclave to deliver water, fuel and food to those alive and suffering from trauma, disease, and lack of healthcare.  

“Access, access, access is necessary, and that is to be done through road. This way we can bring in the supplies,” said WHO’s spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, briefing reporters at the United Nations in Geneva. “We have the supplies, the whole U.N. has the supplies outside of Gaza at the south at the Rafah crossing from Al-Shari onwards, the supplies and the logistics are being taken care of.”  

Mr. Lindmeier reported that “until yesterday, approximately 500 trucks have been brought in in total over four weeks”. However, he stressed, there were only eight WHO truckloads with medical supplies had entered Gaza.  

Hundreds of trucks full of aid are still waiting for access at the Egypt-Gaza border and humanitarians on the ground in Gaza are on standby to facilitate the distribution of relief items.

Jens Laerke from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that among the 569 trucks that entered Gaza since 21 October when the Rafah border crossing was opened, none of them contained fuel, which is still banned by Israeli authorities.

“Everything is nearly depending on fuel,” emphasized Mr. Lindmeier. “The desalination plants, bakeries, ambulances, incubators for babies need power. I don't know the exact figure how many hospitals are out of power and therefore not functioning or damaged. But the cancer hospital has been out of function because of a combination of this; 22 out of 36 hospitals are still functioning.”

The level of death and suffering is “hard to fathom”, the WHO spokesperson said. On average, about 160 children are killed every day, and the total death toll has passed 10,000 people, the WHO reported, based on figures from the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

“There are rules in war, and these rules have to be respected by all combatants,” said Mr. Lindmeier. Asked by a journalist if militants were hiding inside the hospitals which might explain why they were targeted by Israeli airstrikes, Mr. Lindmeier replied that “as WHO, we cannot verify what is under the hospitals. What we can verify is what is in the hospitals and on above ground. And these are urgently needed medical facilities, the only shelter places, the only leftover places for any type of decency and normalcy for people already in distress and wounded and homeless without food and water.”

WHO is mourning the 16 health workers who have killed while on duty, while at the same time praised them for their professionalism and bravery to keep the health system going against all odds, with almost no fuel to run generators, dwindling stocks of supplies, their facilities’ corridors crammed with the injured and people seeking shelter.

“They are not only having to decide whether to run and try to save their own lives and going away from hospitals which are under evacuation and bomb threats, attack threats, but also they have their own families,” said WHO’s spokesperson. “They have relatives who have been killed, they have been in houses which have been attacked. So, it must be an extremely, horrific scenario for them. I think they are the true real heroes in this place.”

Mr. Lindmeier stressed again that any attacks on health care workers, ambulances and health care facilities are forbidden by international humanitarian law.

-ends-

STORY:  Hostilities in the Gaza strip - WHO

TRT: 3:10”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 7 November 2023 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN building with UN flag, UN Geneva.
  2. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens, UN Geneva
  3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “Access, access, access is necessary. And that is to be done not through air, but through road. This way we can bring in the supplies. We have the supplies, the whole U.N. has the supplies outside of Gaza at the south at the Rafah crossing from Al-Shari onwards, the supplies and the logistics are being taken care of.”
  4. Cutaway: Medium shot, camerawomen, UN Geneva.
  5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “Until yesterday, approximately 500 trucks have been brought in, in total over four weeks. And these are trucks with all supplies, and colleagues would be able from the other U.N. agencies to give you the details what's on there,  but that’s every single supply needed, including water, of course, but also mattresses and clothes and whatever, the list is certainly very long. I can only speak for the medically necessary parts and there have been eight trucks only so far. But we have way more outside waiting. ”
  6. Cutaway: close up, journalists listening
  7. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “There are rules in war, and these rules have to be respected by all combatants. As WHO, we cannot verify what is under the hospitals. What we can verify is what is in the hospitals and on above ground. And these are urgently needed medical facilities, the only shelter places, the only leftover places for any type of decency and normalcy for people already in distress and wounded and homeless without food and water.”
  8. Cutaway: close up, journalist listening, UN Geneva
  9. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “Everything is nearly depending on fuel. The desalination plants, bakeries, ambulances, incubators for babies need power. I don't know the exact figure how many hospitals are out of power and therefore not functioning or damaged. But again, the cancer hospital has been out of function because of a combination of this. 22 out of 36 hospitals are still functioning. ”
  10. Cutaway: wide shot, speakers at podium and journalists in press room, UN Geneva
  11. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH)Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “They are not only having to decide whether to run and try to save their own lives and going away from hospitals which are under evacuation and bomb threats, attack threats, but also they have their own families. They have relatives who have been killed. There have been houses which have been attacked. So it must be an extremely, horrific scenario for them. And yet they're trying to stay on the job and trying to do the best they can to save other people's lives. So, I think they are the true real heroes in this place.”
  12. Cutaway: wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and screens, UN Geneva
  13. Cutaway: close up, journalist listening, UN Geneva
  14. Cutaway: medium shot, journalists in press room, UN Geneva


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