PARIS – UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said that the current conflict in Gaza is a wildfire that could consume the region – with wide-ranging global impacts – “unless we bring it under control”.
Speaking at the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza, held in Paris, Griffiths said “War is a virus that catches every chance to expand”.
“Unless multilateral and diplomatic efforts can be maximized to ensure the protection of civilians, enhance humanitarian access and secure the release of the hostages, I have real fears that this could just be the beginning,” the UN official added.
“We must have complete respect – by all parties – for international humanitarian law and basic human dignity. This means that civilians must be protected, and their essential needs met, wherever they are in Gaza. However, the UN cannot be part of a unilateral proposal to push hundreds of thousands of desperate civilians in Gaza into so-called safe zones.” he said according to MENA.
“The UN has not been involved in preparing for the arrival of displaced people in any prospective “safe zone” in Gaza,” he added.
“On behalf of the humanitarian community that I represent, I can tell you that we have serious concerns: Concerns about the safety of civilians in any so-called safe zones if there is no agreement between all the parties on their establishment. Concerns that satisfactory conditions do not exist anywhere in Gaza to ensure adequate shelter, food, water, sanitation and health. And concerns regarding the protection of civilians anywhere in Gaza,” The UN official stated.