Call by BADIL and the GPRN
Almost 40 days into the Israeli Genocidal War on the Gaza Strip, United Nations’ (UN) agencies have failed to protect Palestinians and fulfill their mandates and responsibilities.
The failure of UN agencies to provide protection to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are illustrated in their statements by making no attempt to put the current catastrophe into context; utilizing watered-down language that completely downplays Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, and accountability; and failing to name Israel as the perpetrator of crimes against protected Palestinians civilians, including the deaths of UN staff and the destruction of UN facilities. Despite knowing that humanitarian aid must not be conditioned under any circumstances, UN agencies, like colonial states, have linked humanitarian ceasefire to the release of the so-called hostages.
Furthermore, leaving the north of the Gaza Strip, abandoning Palestinians, aid workers and UN facilities there and limiting their actions to calls and appeals indicate an implicit acceptance to eventually leave the south of Gaza. These actions are foreboding and would not prevent the ongoing Palestinian displacement within and from Gaza by Israel.
It is not enough for UN agencies to express “outrage”, “Enough is Enough”, “Nowhere and no one is safe”, Gaza is “Hell on Earth” and a “graveyard for children”, while they have taken no practical measures to halt Palestinian suffering and provide physical, material and legal protection.
In line with their mandates and responsibilities, UN agencies must embrace the protection they are due as agencies of the UN, under the flag of the UN and implement their operations. Israel’s non-compliance with international law, disrespect of the UN and its agencies, rejection, denial of access, threats and ongoing atrocities should not constitute excuses to UN agencies not protecting Palestinians.
Therefore, BADIL and the Global Palestinian Refugee and IDP Network (GPRN) call on UN agencies to:
- Clearly and accurately state the facts concerning the situation in the Gaza Strip, including naming Israel as the perpetrator, recalling the root causes, context and reality in the Gaza Strip without minimizing Israel’s crimes and calling for its accountability.
- Without waiting for Israeli permission, provide immediate aid and protection to Palestinians to stop genocide and prevent further forced displacement by implementing and leading the following practical measures:
- Organize immediate humanitarian convoys into the Gaza Strip - under the flag of the UN.
- Declare all public structures and service vehicles such as hospitals, clinics, ambulances, trucks, schools, shelters, and humanitarian corridors as protected under the flag of the UN.
- Transfer the wounded Palestinians to Egypt, under the flag of the UN.
- Increase and enhance the operations, services, and physical existence UN agencies and international staff, including volunteers from required fields - under the flag of UN.