LONDON: Accounting from southern Gaza, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder called on the world not to remain complicit and urged heightened attention to the unfolding crisis in Palestine.
The conflict, which has now claimed the lives of more UN workers than any other in history, has resulted in the death of at least 15,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7, according to reports.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Elder emphasized the devastating toll on UNRWA colleagues, with more than 100 individuals killed in what he described as the largest number of casualties in the history of the UN during a seven or eight-week period.
He condemned the situation as both immoral and likely illegal, referring to the current state in Gaza as nothing short of a “bloodbath.”
Elder said: “I feel these safe zones are trying to prepare a narrative for continued massacres of children. Silence is complicity.”
In a separate interview, he criticized the illusion of safety in Gaza, citing instances ranging from children being bombed in hospitals to the deaths of UN colleagues.
UNRWA has confirmed the loss of 111 colleagues since Oct. 7, further underscoring the severity of the crisis.
The UN agency responsible for supporting the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees also revealed alarming statistics: 117 incidents at 85 different premises, with 30 camps directly hit and 55 sustaining collateral damages.
Videos documenting these events circulated widely, drawing attention to Elder’s humanity and compassionate dedication amid extreme circumstances.
A post published on Tuesday by UNRWA on social media described the situation in Gaza as “intolerable” and warned against further escalation of the conflict.
“The resumption of the military operation and its expansion further in southern #Gaza is repeating horrors from past weeks,” the post reads.
“We have said it repeatedly. We are saying it again. No place is safe in #Gaza.”
We have said it repeatedly. We are saying it again. No place is safe in #Gaza.
The level of human suffering is intolerable.
— UNRWA (@UNRWA) December 5, 2023
Between Oct. 7 and Nov. 19, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported more than 12,700 deaths.
Subsequent updates were halted as multiple hospitals collapsed.
Recent reports from the Gaza Government Media Office suggest a grim escalation, with fatalities rising by more than 2,300 to a staggering total of more than 15,000. Among these casualties, about 6,150 are children and about 4,000 are women.