Local News

Orkney Vigil as UN Warns of Disastrous Conditions in #Gaza

Peace campaigners in Orkney will again be holding a vigil on Saturday 11 November at 1pm on the steps of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, calling for an immediate ceasefire to the bombardment of Gaza.

a group of people with placards
Ceasefire vigil in Orkney

Humanitarians from The United Nations reported on Wednesday 8th of November that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians still in northern Gaza face unprecedented hardship after being isolated by Israeli military operations, while a medical convoy sent by the UN and partners was fired on in Gaza City.

Foreign ministers from the G7 group of countries have joined international calls for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to protect civilians, help bring in aid and support the release of the more than 240 hostages held captive in Gaza by Hamas since 7 October.

Due to the lack of medical supplies, hospitals in the north now conduct surgery without anaesthesia.

A convoy of five trucks from WHO and the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), escorted by two vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came under fire on its way to deliver lifesaving medical supplies to the Shifa and Al Quds hospitals in Gaza city on Tuesday 7th November. Two trucks were damaged and a driver was injured, but the convoy ultimately reached Al-Shifa hospital and made its delivery

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said the the number of UN Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA) staff who have been killed during the continuing Israeli bombardment, has reached 99.

As many as a third of all buildings in northern Gaza have reportedly been destroyed or damaged, and a UN-appointed independent rights expert warned on Wednesday that systematic or widespread bombardment of housing, civilian objects and infrastructure are strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law, criminal law and human rights law.

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said that carrying out hostilities “with the knowledge that they will systematically destroy and damage civilian housing and infrastructure, rendering an entire city – such as Gaza city – uninhabitable for civilians is a war crime”.

Image credit United Nations

Fiona Grahame

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