UN Sec. Gen.:Death Toll in Gaza at ‘Unbearable Point’ Before Israel Bombs UN and Media

Posted: 16 January 2009 by Editors in International Affairs, Palestine-Israel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As UN gets fed up with Israel’s war on Gaza, the already inhibited media and the UN are attacked by Israel. Amy Goodman of DN! interviews retired physician in Gaza Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, and UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness.

The Jersualem Post:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and for the opening of crossings to the Gaza Strip….

Ban said that the death toll in Gaza had reached an “unbearable point,” and added that it was his understanding in meetings and conversations with both sides that the fighting in Gaza was coming to a close.

“It is my assessment that there are certain elements in place that would enable a cease-fire, but it all hinges on the political will of both sides,” he said. He reiterated that the international community expects an immediate ceasefire.

AntiWar.com:

Just minutes after Israeli forces assured Reuters that a 16-story Gaza building used as a media center by correspondents for the international press was not a military target, it was targeted. Much as the United Nations did with its schools, Reuters provided the Israeli military with coordinates for the building to ensure that it wouldn’t be hit.

The Independent:

Israeli shelling set fire to the UN headquarters, a hospital, a school and a building used by the media, leading to widespread international protests and renewed calls for a ceasefire in the conflict which has so far cost 1,073 Palestinian and 13 Israeli lives. A senior Hamas leader, the Interior Minister Said Seyyam who was responsible for thousands of security agents, was killed in an Israeli raid which flattened his brother’s home.

Three members of UN staff were injured when three Israeli shells hit the headquarters, setting it on fire. Thousands of tonnes of desperately needed food and humanitarian supplies were destroyed and about 700 refugees given shelter in the building had to be evacuated. UN officials said the shells were white phosphorus, believed to have been responsible for burns suffered by some Palestinian civilians.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, on a peace mission to the region, said: “I conveyed my strong protest and outrage to the Defence Minister and Foreign Minister and demanded a full explanation.”

John Ging, the director of operations for the UN relief agency, UNRWA, in Gaza described the Israeli claim about a Hamas presence as “nonsense”. He added: “It’s a total disaster for us.” Mr Ging said the UN had warned the Israelis the compound was in danger from shelling that had begun overnight, and provided them with GPS co-ordinates to prevent an attack.

Democracy Now!:

Israeli forces are continuing to pound Gaza City, hitting civilian targets, including a UN building, a hospital and a building housing several media organizations, in some of the heaviest shelling in nearly three weeks. Israeli troops backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy guns have pushed deep into densely populated neighborhoods. We go to Gaza City to speak with retired physician Dr. Moussa El-Haddad, and we speak with Christopher Gunness, the spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency.

Part One (9:59):

Part Two (3:07):

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