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"Nowhere today in Gaza is safe" - UN Palestine…

"Nowhere today in Gaza is safe" - UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA)
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Summary
A UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) spokesperson said, "Nowhere today in Gaza is safe."
Description
Speaking from Amman, Jordan, today (20 Oct) in an interview, Tamara Alrifai, UNRWA Director of External Relations, said that Gaza needs a "continuous flow of aid" along with safe humanitarian access that allows relief workers to reach those in need. She said, "This is not about a one-off, sending 20 trucks and then nothing. This is really a call for a continuous and safe humanitarian access with security conditions that allow my colleagues in Gaza to do what they need to do, which is check in on the internally displaced people, run the health centres, and distribute water and food." Alrifai also described that the UN agency has some 13,000 people on the ground in the enclave – a vast majority of them Gazans themselves – who, despite having been displaced and living in shelters themselves, are determined to keep working and deliver assistance. She said, "We cannot work without security guarantees. And this is why we've been calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. We need to be able to send our trucks and send our people and know that they're not going to get killed or shot or taken in between." As the Israeli bombardment continues, she said that 16 of her colleagues have now been killed since the siege of Gaza began, following the attacks by Hamas militants in southern Israel on 7 October. She said, "I want to remind that UNWRA has already lost 16 of its staff in the last 12 days. I have lost 16 colleagues from UNRWA." She also spoke about the situation inside UNRWA shelters and how the agency is trying to give a "little bit of privacy and a little bit of dignity" to people in desperate need. She said, "Most of my colleagues are displaced in UNRWA schools themselves. These UNRWA schools are very, very overcrowded. There is no privacy. There is there is one toilet for several thousand people. There is no access to basic necessities, commodities. Everyone is living on one liter of drinking water or less per day. So, the conditions are very, very dire for everyone, including my colleagues." She also said, "33 of our premises or installations have been damaged so far by strikes by the Israeli Defence Forces. So, we have sustained a lot of damage on top of the human losses. The conditions inside the shelters - again overcrowding - and mostly a lot of fear and despair and a state of shock that my colleagues report by people who thought they were seeking safety and security in a UN building under a blue flag." B-Roll Credits: WHO - 12-17 OCTOBER 2023, GAZA UNICEF - 16 OCTOBER 2023, GAZA STRIP